Lancaster town officials want Como Lake to remain a lake.
Once regarded as a local treasure but now as a neglected, stagnant body of water in a beloved county park, Como Lake is now on the town’s radar.
The condition of the county-owned lake, which is the subject of a resident petition, drew the attention of village leaders last month, and now town leaders have begun weighing in on the lake, which is located off Lake Avenue in the heart of the village.
The town’s position mirrors that of the village: The lake should be dredged, and Erie County should not be allowed to remove its dam so that the lake becomes a creek.
Councilwoman Dawn C. Gaczewski got unanimous support on the Town Board with a resolution aimed at helping improve the lake and sending a message to county officials.
Gaczewski said it’s important the lake be dredged and restored to it can eventually be used for water sport activities such as kayaking.
“That’s sitting water and muckety muck,” Gaczewski said after the board voted on her resolution. Last month, word trickled from the county to Lancaster village leaders that the county wondered if the community would like the dam removed so the lake could transform into a creek. The lake hasn’t been dredged in about 25 years, and many people consider it to be neglected.
In recent months, two village residents spearheaded a petition calling for its cleanup. The county has coupled a lake-dredging effort at Como Lake with the rebuilding of the Akron Falls dam in a combined $4.2 million project, which would not be done until 2019 at the earliest and is not at the top of the county’s capital park projects list.
The lake was a 35-acre body of water when it was created in 1892. Cayuga Creek flows into it.
An island of silt and debris has accumulated above the dam in recent years.
Gaczewski, who is studying the lake issue, said the flood plain could be problematic if the dam were removed. “If that dam wasn’t there, how would it affect the flood plain and those residents past the dam?” she asked.
In another matter, Councilman John Abraham praised a new, four-story hotel with 169 rooms being built on Freeman Road by 48 Freeman Road Properties, hoping it will put a dent in the prostitution and drug trafficking going on along that stretch of hotels.
The Town Board approved a site plan for the hotel and cleared its environmental review of the project.
“This is a big improvement,” Abraham said, noting he closely follows the problems along Freeman monitored by the police. “This hotel, I think, will replace one of those bad hotels. You need a credit card to check in.”
The board also approved hiring May’s Tree Service for $21,720 to remove 25 dead ash trees.