News was released following the Lake Wallenpapack Watershed Management District’s board meeting, that funds have been made approved for a major stormwater management project.

PALMYRA TWP. (Pike) - News was released following the Lake Wallenpapack Watershed Management District’s board meeting, that funds have been made approved for a major stormwater management project.

The announcement, made by Senator Lisa Baker’s Office, follows:

The Lake Wallenpapack Watershed Management District (LWWMD) will be able to significantly reduce pollutants and nutrients entering Roamingwood Lake in The Hideout, Ariel Creek, and ultimately Lake Wallenpaupack, thanks to a $200,000 Watershed Restoration Protection Program grant from the state.

LWWMD Executive Director Nick Spinelli welcomed the funding, which he says will help cover the cost of the $343,000 project.
“It’s vitally important that we continue to reduce nutrient loading to the lake,” Spinelli said. “We’ve been working with The Hideout for a number of years to cooperatively address water quality improvements that are aligned with our Watershed Management Plan. This effort will accomplish these goals.”

Steep slopes and uncontrolled stormwater runoff along Ridgeview Drive have been occurring and negatively impacting nearby Roamingwood Lake. This project will divert the stormwater to an adjacent, undeveloped lot in The Hideout. A device will be installed to treat a portion of the stormwater. Work is expected to begin as early as January and should last about two years.

“By properly managing stormwater and stabilizing the eroded soils, we’re able to make a measurable improvement to the water flowing into Roamingwood Lake,” Spinelli said. “This corrective action will improve water quality and will be mutually beneficial for residents of the Hideout, downstream neighbors along Ariel Creek, and Lake Wallenpaupack.

Senator Lisa Baker (R-20th) and Rep. Jonathan Fritz (R-111th) both applauded the efforts to improve water quality  in the region.

Fritz believes the project is a good use of state dollars. “These funds will provide relief from storm water runoff for Lake Township residents,” he said. “I am pleased to see resources returning to our community for such a worthwhile project.”

Baker said it is increasingly clear that controlling stormwater runoff is an effective way to improve water quality. “Projects such as this help mitigate the impact that development has on streams and lakes important to the quality of life in our area,” she added. “Combining public and private money allows for larger projects with greater environmental benefits.”

Board meeting

Highlights of the November LWWMD board meeting:

Michele Long was nominated to serve as chairperson of the District’s board of directors for 2018. Elections take place in December. Other nominations include Carson Helfrich, Vice-Chairman;  Keith Williams, Treasurer and James Shook, Secretary. Long is the Administrative Manager at the Pike County Conservation District.

There were 14 applications received for the 2018 Cost Share program. Property owners pay 50% in either cash or in-kind contributions such as material or labor for projects that will prevent or correct conditions that may pollute Lake Wallenpaupack. There is one agricultural project. The rest are either stream bank or shoreline erosion projects or storm water management projects. Grant requests total $79,257.00; the total in matches is $99,257.00. Project costs total $178,514.00.

The District’s Cost Share Committee must determine which projects will be funded. Administrator Nick Spinelli estimated that between $40,000 and $45,000 are worthy of being done. Most are on the Wayne County side of the lake. There is about $25,000 in the Cost Share account; the board agreed to transfer $15,000 from the Invest account if the committee determines more project proposals are justified.

Funds for the Cost Share program are provided by Brookfield Renewable, the power generator that owns Lake Wallenpaupack, through the 2006 relicensing agreement between the original owner, PPL, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The 2017 summer appeal letter has raised approximately $20,000 so far, which Spinelli stated was a good thing.

The LWWMD is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the improvement and maintenance of water quality in Lake Wallenpaupack and its 219 square mile watershed.

For more information contact the District at 570-226-3865 or visit The board meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at the Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center.