A push to clean up Lake Neatawantha
Decades ago, Lake Neatawantha, which sits between Fulton and the town of Granby, was once a hot spot for swimming, fishing, and boating. But over time, sediment run-off, left untreated, has made the lake unusable. Wednesday, city and town officials launched a new initiative to clean it up for good. Our Candace Hopkins has more on their efforts.
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OSWEGO COUNTY, N.Y. -- "There used to be boat races there when I was a young man, families were there every weekend in the evenings during the hot part of the summer swimming, and there was a lot of fishing, I used to fish with my dad every Sunday," said Granby Town Supervisor Ed Williamson.
"When I was a kid, in '68, I used to go there with my parents, and go to the lake, and have cookouts, boat rides, and all kinds of good stuff," said Douglas Chapman, a Fulton resident.
Residents and officials alike reflected on their time spent on Lake Neatwantha as children, a place where families from throughout the area once gathered.
But those precious memories are now a thing of the past. After years of letting nature take its course, sediment run-offs have polluted the lake, leaving it unusable.
"The lake is just a green sludge pit, in warm weather all this green and such rises to the top," said Williamson.
Meaning fishing and swimming are off limits. And as the sign says, even letting your pet in the water could be a health hazard.
Now area officials say the time has come to restore the lake to its former glory, launching a fundraising effort Wednesday night.
"It's a hard pill to swallow, and it seems insurmountable, but it's not," said Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward.
And that's Mayor Woodward's message to the community, in hopes of gaining support for the project, which he believes could help re-energize the area.
"It will generate business...it helps our image, makes us feel better about ourselves," said Mayor Woodward.
Business potential aside, many residents say just seeing the lake restored once again to a source of pride for the community would be worth the effort.