Hoyt Lake Cleanup Moves Forward

3:26 PM, Jul 4, 2011   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- After years of neglect that polluted its waters, there are plans in place to clean up Buffalo's Hoyt Lake, at least in the short-term.

Months ago, 2 On Your Side first reported on tons of dead fish pulled from the lake. It was partially due to the annual winter freeze; but experts say the polluted waters are also to blame.

Two projects are designed to add more oxygen to the water, helping with the smell and the hazards to fish and other wildlife.

The first is to bring back the fountain that was in place decades ago. State Senator Mark Grisanti (R-60th) secured $100,000 during the state budget negotiations.

The Olmsted Parks Conservancy, which runs Delaware Park, recently completed its design and research into a fountain, which will look similar to the one in place during the turn of the century. The fountain will help to provide oxygen by agitating the water.

The other project appears to be waiting on funding from Albany. The City of Buffalo received a grant from the Department of Environmental Conservation that is now worth $250,000. The money will pay for repairs to 2 of the 3 wells that pump in fresh water to the Delaware Avenue side of Hoyt Lake. Funding will also be used for improvements to the dividing path between Scajaqueda Creek and Hoyt Lake.

Andrew Rabb, who is in charge of Buffalo's Division of Parks and Recreation, said the city already spent $47,000 of bond funds to study and design the well improvements. He said all the documents have been submitted to the DEC.

"Short story is we are waiting for confirmation from NYS DEC as to when we can start construction," Rabb said by e-mail.

A spokesperson for the DEC told 2 On Your Side there was initially a delay with some paperwork issues, but those problems have been worked out. She said the Hoyt Lake project is in the "final stages" of approval.

2 On Your Side was not able to get an exact timeline on when the city could receive the funds from the DEC.

Grisanti said he will speak directly with the DEC commissioner to try to expedite the funding.

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