LAKE GEORGE — The town is considering the takeover of a small state-run beach known by locals as “Dog Beach.”
Supervisor Dennis Dickinson said he has sent a letter to Venetia Lannon, deputy secretary for the environment for the state, asking for a meeting to explore letting the town run the beach, which is also known as Freedom Beach.
“I think the beach is a real asset. I think it would be a shame to close it down. I think it would be a great venue for the town to take it over and operate it,” he said at Monday’s Town Board meeting.
Some people have contacted the state, expressing concern about activities at the beach, he said.
Village Mayor Robert Blais said last week he wrote a letter to the Lake George Park Commission, saying that he believes Dog Beach is one of the sources of pollution in the lake.
Blais said he suggested closing the beach. Swimming has always been prohibited at the beach.
Ten days later, the state took down all the no-swimming signs and reopened the beach, Blais said.
He said he has received emails from people upset about that decision.
“I do know they’re testing every day. We haven’t seen any of the results,” he said.
Dickinson said it was a mistake for the state to put riprap along the beach, because that made it unapproachable.
If the town took over the beach, it could install buoys and staff it with lifeguards, Dickinson said. The only remaining question would be bathrooms.
Board member Marisa Muratori said she worries the project would be too expensive. The town also would have to smooth out rocky terrain.
But she does not want residents to lose access to the beach.
The board gave Dickinson permission to set up a meeting with state officials.
“I’d be very disappointed if we walk away from this and let the state do something,” he said.
In other news about beaches, the Town Board set a public hearing for Sept. 10 at 5 p.m. to approve the new Diamond Point Beach regulations.
The new hours would be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Swimming would be allowed only when the lifeguard is on duty between 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Domestic animals will not be allowed on the beach, with the exception of service animals. Launching boats and other vehicles from the beach remains prohibited.
The public hearing was originally scheduled for last month, but it was postponed because Dickinson was ill.
Also on Monday, the board heard from Tom Lloyd, who was representing about 50 families that live in Cannon Point. Lloyd expressed concern about an excessive amount of partying in Orcutt Bay.
Lloyd said he believes the boaters have been chased out of other spots, such as Log Bay, and have found a new location, where they spend four or five hours partying.
“It seems this party atmosphere is moving in the direction of ‘let’s see how many people we can slam into this bay,’” he said.
Lloyd said he is concerned about safety and noise, and he would like to see some type of restriction.
Dickinson said he has had preliminary discussions with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Lake George Park Commission officials about restricting the number of boats in the bay. Perhaps, they could be capped at three or four moorings, he said.