The following is a response by Mayor Michael Fressola to Manchester Patch readers who left comments on his recent opinion letter outlining why Pine Lake may never be suitable for swimming.
Fact No. 1 – 30 years ago people did all kinds of things they would not do today, including swimming in waters without knowing the conditions of the water.
Fact No. 2 – The landfill was approved by the State in 1972 and is under the control of the State and the County and not under Township jurisdiction.
Fact No. 3 – However, each and every concern was brought to the attention of the operators of the landfill by the Township. The issues they had control over were addressed.
Fact No. 4 – The net dollars coming to the Township as “Host Community Benefits” are well under the $5 per ton figure he stated and this money is used in the operation of the Township.
Fact No. 5 – I agree seagulls and geese are a contributing problem. Over the years we have tried many methods to control this problem at a substantial cost to the Township, to no avail. This is a worldwide problem. If you doubt that, I would suggest you Google or Wikipedia search and you will see the hundreds of thousands hits worldwide.
Fact No. 6 – Over the years we have monitored the water quality of the lake and found during very dry periods of time the water quality, while not pristine was safe for swimming and it was allowed. These times were few and far between, so the prudent decision was made in the interest of the health of our residents to ban swimming.
Fact No. 7 – During the period of time when regular testing was done, it was found that the major source of pollution was not, and I repeat not, caused by the birds but from the runoff both local and from Jackson Township.
Fact No. 8 – Why is it that so many are willing to comment on issues without having any first-hand knowledge of the issues? I have lived with this troubling issue for over 22 years. If my detractors have a viable solution, that would not cost tax payers millions of dollars, please bring it to me. We will give you credit if it works. Somehow I believe that will not occur. What will occur is that the completely uninformed will continue to comment and disparage.
Michelle, thank you for filling me in on the early history. I have pictures before and during the major construction and enlargement in 1938. Pictures before show what you would call a very small pond.
Submitted by Michael Fressola,