BUFFALO, NY - A cleanup project for Hoyt Lake that was fully funded more than a year ago still hasn't been completed, and it appears delays in paperwork are to blame.
For two years now, 2 On Your Side has been reporting on the problems at Hoyt Lake, which has become notorious for dirty waters, a terrible stench, and tons of dead fish.
In 2010, state and local leaders held a press conference in front of the lake to announce grant monies to clean up that area, yet little has changed since then.
Early last year, State Senator Mark Grisanti secured $100,000 to purchase a fountain to put in the lake. According to sources in Albany, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy still hasn't received that money, because Olmsted hasn't finished the documentation needed to receive the grant.
2 On Your Side is told Olmsted's paperwork was rejected at least twice by the State Senate Finance Office, because Olmsted's plan included using some of the money on salaries, which isn't allowed for a capital project.
Finally, Olmsted's most recent proposal was accepted and sent to the New York State Parks Department on May 10. A spokesperson with the parks says the "recipient documentation" has now been sent to Olmsted, so the process is almost complete.
There is still no hard date on when the fountain, which should help with oxygen flow in the lake, can be installed.
The President and CEO of Olmsted, Thomas Herrera-Mishler, didn't return multiple messages sent to his office and cell phone. The Olmsted manager running this project, Otis Glover, didn't return messages either.
There's better news for the second project at Hoyt Lake, which is moving forward. More than $270,000 was awarded from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to the City of Buffalo to repair the fresh water wells at the lake.
Andrew Rabb, who oversees Buffalo's parks, said a contract will be bid next week and work should begin this summer.