Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council meeting

The Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council gathers January in the Cayuga County Office Building.

The process for reviewing and revising the Owasco Lake watershed's rules and regulations is underway, with an eight-member steering committee put in place.

The committee will be responsible for collecting feedback during the multiple public hearings that will occur during the process. Members include Cayuga County Legislators Aileen McNabb-Coleman and Michael Didio, Owasco Town Supervisor Ed Wagner, Auburn City Councilor Debby McCormick, owner of Sunnyside Farms Greg Rejman, Town of Scipio board member Leslie Baxter, Owasco Watershed Lake Association member Ken Post and Cayuga County Health Director Kathleen Cuddy. 

McNabb-Coleman covers the towns of Owasco and Sennett and Didio covers parts of the city of Auburn. McNabb-Coleman is also a member of the Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council, as is McCormick, Wagner and Baxter. Rejman's dairy farm spans both the Cayuga Lake and the Owasco Lake watershed.

Eileen O'Connor, director of the county's environmental health division, announced the steering committee members at the Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council's meeting on April 18. She said a meeting between the members should be occurring soon.

This is the latest step following the council's creation of a public outreach plan, which includes six public information meetings, four stakeholder meetings and multiple steering committee meetings. The state Department of Health received a copy of the outreach plan, which council members hoped would give them a better chance at making changes to the rules and regulations.

The Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency has also discussed updating the rules and regulations of the watershed, with several of the members looking to create stricter guidelines with the goal of improving the lake's water quality. They also hope to update the more than 30-year-old document in general, as many things have changed over that time period.

Staff writer Gwendolyn Craig can be reached at (315) 282-2237 or gwendolyn.craig@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @gwendolynnn1.

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County Government Reporter