Officials announce Lake Ronkonkoma revitalization project
Suffolk County officials announced their first plan of action in an effort to beautify and revitalize Lake Ronkonkoma.
Residents say they have spent the last several months cleaning up years-worth of piled up garbage and construction debris around the body of water. On Wednesday, officials said they would start the process of cleaning up by revitalizing the former site of the Bavarian Inn.
"We have secured all the permits," says Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone. "We will be remediating all of the cesspools and drainage sites and backfilling them in."
Bellone says that he was unaware of the problem in the area until a few months ago.
"This, for me, began most recently with a conversation with a reporter from News 12, Danielle Campbell," says Bellone.
County officials say that part of the plan is scheduled to begin on Monday and should take about six weeks to complete.
Bellone says the cost of the initial plan is around $150,000. He says there are also plans to install an advanced wastewater treatment system to reduce the amount of nitrogen getting into Lake Ronkonkoma. There was no word yet on how much that will cost.
Evelyn Vollgraph, who spearheaded the grassroots Lake Ronkonkoma Improvement Group, says she's been overwhelmed by the support.
"There was talks of a band shell or a picnic area. It's still all in planning stages, but just to get [the lake] clean is like a miracle," she says.