Johnson Foundation Donates $250,000 to CLA

JOHNSON GRANTThe Johnson Foundation recently made an investment to the Chautauqua Lake Association for $250,000 to be used towards the CLA’s replacement, repair, and reconditioning of equipment. The gift will fund the CLA’s purchase of a new FX-11 Aquatic Weed Harvester and SL-6036 Shore Conveyor.

“We are proud to say our equipment is in such good working order, however, looking to the future we realize we need to start replacing our equipment to maintain our efficiency with annual lake maintenance,” said Craig Butler, president of the CLA. “General maintenance is performed on each piece of equipment during the off season to ensure the best productivity during the short summer season. Nonetheless, this summer we have had to implement several emergency repairs to our older equipment. Many of the Chautauqua Lake Association’s harvesters and barges are over 30 years old,” he said.

The Johnson Foundation, established in 1996 by John A. Johnson, has been administered by local attorney, John L Sellstrom, a Trustee, and Carol W. Sellstrom, Executive Director.

“We have been happy to have given substantial support to the Chautauqua Lake Association over the past 20 years. Chautauqua Lake is the most valuable natural resource asset in Western New York, and we must all protect and find ways to clean the lake for future generations,” said John Sellstrom. “Each decade since the 1940’s the Chautauqua Lake Association has struggled with limited funds to address the problems of the lake. It is now more important than ever to recognize what a gem our lake is and to resolve the weed and algae problems,” he said.

The CLA has three crews working eight hours a day, five days a week, to help keep Chautauqua Lake clean. Crews are located in the upper basin (Mayville and Bemus) and lower basin (Lakewood). Compared to previous years, the lake is in good condition right now according to CLA officials.

“The Johnson Foundation has been very generous to us. It is nice to be recognized for the hard work that we do for the community,” said Butler. The crews continue to watch for new invasive species and monitor the existing vegetation. The CLA has been diligent about testing and informing the public about the lake’s condition. The organization has valuable links on their website for the public to stay informed.

For more information about the Chautauqua Lake Association or to learn about membership, visit the CLA on the web at www.chautauqualakeassociation.org or call 716-763- 8602. You can also stay updated by visiting the CLA on Facebook.

The CLA’s mission is to provide effective and efficient lake maintenance services for the benefit of all Chautauqua Lake users. As the “Stewards of the Lake,” the CLA serves to promote
and facilitate the ongoing scientific monitoring of Chautauqua Lake and its ecosystem.