Cleanup effort still land-locked

If you just walk by it, Long Lake might look just as “green and stinky” as always, says Ken Spohn, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of cleanup work going on.

It just hasn’t hit the water yet.

“We’re just finalizing the application process,” Spohn said, explaining that members of Citizens for Improving Long Lake (CILL) are meeting regularly with county and state officials to make sure the lake receives as much of the $750,000 set aside for it by the Legislature this year as possible. For now, however, that means completing a lot of paperwork.

Spohn, president of CILL, said although his group was approved for the Department of Ecology grant, since it is a nonprofit, “They can’t just give us the money. It has to be channeled through the county.”

Spohn said CILL is meeting regularly with Dana Coggon, Kitsap County Noxious

Weed Control Program Coordinator, to complete the applications for the grant.

However, to make sure as much of the money as possible goes to the lake, Spohn said most of the leg work is being done by the group members themselves, who are volunteering the man hours.

If all goes well, he said, the group will begin taking samples of the water next month so they can apply for the proper permits, and by next spring, the cleanup work — most likely by the environmental engineering company Tetra Tech — will begin.

Working closely with state Sen. Bob Oke, (R-Port Orchard), the members of CILL, which is made up of nearby homeowners and others concerned about the health of the lake, spent the last three years researching and discussing options before formulating a cleanup plan for the lake.

What they came up with was a 10-year management plan costing a little over $1 million, but now that is being adjusted to fit the funding — a $750,000 grant being distributed through the DOE and the Centennial Clean Water Fund.

“Tetra Tech adjusted the cost of the cleanup to fit our funding,” Spohn said, which is now a two-year plan costing $780,000. He explained that once the clean-up has been started and most of the plants removed, the group will go back and ask for the remaining money to complete the management part of the plan.

Although considered prime waterfront property and one of the most heavily used lakes in South Kitsap, the lake also suffers from consistent algae and bacteria problems, which are aggravated by runoff from residential properties and large numbers of resident waterfowl.

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