Randall to add to launch monitoring

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View of the Department of Natural Resources launch off Highway F.

The Randall Town Board Thursday decided to increase its monitoring of boat launches on Powers Lake after last season’s program helped substantially increase the amount of launch fees collected.

But the objective in adding additional hours is not necessarily more revenue, but to more closely monitor what invasive species boats may be bringing into the lake.

The board acted on hiring two teens to work at the boat launches — the Department of Natural Resources launch off of Highway F and the Bayview launch. But there also was extensive discussion on starting launch monitoring much earlier in the day, when primarily fishermen are using the lake. Speed is limited on the lake until 10 a.m. on weekends and holidays and speed boaters typically don’t launch until after that.

Since an earlier start would likely require more launch monitors, the board agreed to advertise for more help. Newspaper advertising for the positions filled Thursday night only brought in one applicant. The other individual hired Thursday was the person who filled the job last year, the program’s first of operation.

Supervisor Ken Mangold pushed for the additional and earlier hours so more boats could be inspected to see if they are maybe bringing in non-native plants.

“There’s a lot of people out there early in the morning,” Mangold said. “Right now, we’re missing the first peak time.” Launch monitoring started at about 10 a.m. in 2008.

Several indivuduals pointed out fishermen are perhaps even a  higher risk for carrying invasive plant species because they tend to move around in search of a good fish bite.

“The fishermen are the guys who go from lake to lake,” said Supervisor Bob Stoll.

There was considerable discussion about when to start monitoring. Mangold favored a 4 a.m. start. Others were satisfied with 6 a.m. All agreed that such an early start might not be appropriate for the two young individual already hired. They might be better suited for a 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. slot, supervisors said. Attendants are equiped with phones to contact Water Patrol or town officials if needed.

The attendants will be paid $10 per hour. They work Saturday, Sunday and holidays.

The town collected about $14,000 in launch fees last summer, after paying the attendants. The year before about $7,900 was collected with no attendants. Launch fees, now $7, also were increased for the 2008 season.


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