Posted on October 26, 2022
A push to fund clean-up and environmental stability efforts on Chautauqua Lake continues, with officials proposing three new ways to raise money.
Previously, the Chautauqua Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Agency came under fire from residents who expressed concern with a plan that would create a new county-wide tax to go towards lake preservation efforts.
As part of an initiative to draft solutions, planners with Barton & Loguidice laid out new options for the governmental group, focusing specifically on three possible ways to raise funds for lake preservation.
“We wanted to go with something that had precedent as a previously used method, something that was both achievable and effective following its implementation,” explained consultant Jack Williams.
The first method introduced is known as a “Tiered Flat Fee.”
“Essentially we take the number of parcels within each tier, we take the funding or a portion of the funding goal allocated to each tier and we divy it up evenly between each land parcel,” explained Williams.
The consultant also outlined another option called the “Formula Based Fee.”
“It allows us to take a combination of property variables, assign a waiting factor to each of them and take a base cost that would be the equivalent of that tier flat fee, and allow us to increase or decrease that to the specific variable associated with each parcel,” said Williams.
Finally, what’s known as a “Equivalent Residential Unit” is also a possible tool on the toolbelt.
“It is a function of total development within the study area, and it’s a standardized method of equating your average residential property and the development associated with it to non-residential areas,” furthered Williams.
At the end of the day, the hope is to find a sustainable solution to funding efforts that keep the lake healthy and clean. Currently efforts, like the lake dredging, are funded mostly by grants.
“One of the primary goals of this is making sure that the funding that is achieved, those dollars go directly to helping the lake and trying to reduce the efforts and costs associated with implementing, operating and administrating,” explained Williams.
Next month, the group plans to host a public forum where the community can learn more about what’s on the table. So far, they have not taken official action to enact a new tax source.