Lake Neatahwanta Receives More Money And Visitors

Senator Patty Ritchie and Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward at Lake Neatahwanta as the Groh's Dredging & Marine dredger works at removing sediment from the lake bed.

FULTON, NY – The Lake Neatahwanta dredging project received the attention of state government Tuesday (Sep. 2) when New York State Senator Patty Ritchie stopped by to visit and accept the warm appreciation of the community for finding the money to get the lake cleanup underway.

Senator Patty Ritchie and Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward at Lake Neatahwanta as the Groh's Dredging & Marine dredger works at removing sediment from the lake bed.
Senator Patty Ritchie and Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward at Lake Neatahwanta as the Groh’s Dredging & Marine dredger works at removing sediment from the lake bed.

After providing the city of Fulton and town of Granby with $200,000 in grant money last year to fund their efforts to bring the lake back to a healthy condition to allow safe recreation, the senator announced last week that another $200,000 was coming our way.

Oswego County Today asked the senator where the additional money came from and if there would be any more forthcoming to help keep lake clean-up moving forward.

“This came as a result of the invasive species portion of the state budget,” Ritchie said. “I will continue to work to secure additional funds for the lake.”

She added that rejuvenating Lake Neatahwanta has been something Fulton Mayor Ronald Woodward has kept in the forefront of her efforts since shortly after she was elected. “He told me how important it was, but there was a pretty big price tag attached,” she said.

“Success here will bring more people to the area,” Ritchie said, noting that in addition to restoring a long lost beach for the community to enjoy, an increase of tourism will also contribute positively to the local economy.

“It’s great to see that, on top of what they’re working with right now, they’re going to be able to double the project,” Ritchie said.

Fulton Community Revitalization Corp. President Joe Fiumara said that in addition to the state money and some significant community business sponsors, the FCRC has also found a way for individual community members to donate to the clean-up effort.

The dredging contract was set for the first 10,000 cubic yards of sediment to be dredged, with an cost of an additional $12.89 per cubic yard if there was enough time in the season and money available to have the dredge company remove even more sludge while they were here.

“Our fundraiser is called ‘One Yard At A Time for $12.89,'” Fiumara said. “We’ve had a wonderful response so far.”

Because the FCRC is a community-wide non-profit organization and the designated recipient of the state grant money, it has set up a separate accountability specifically for the Lake Neatahwanta donations.

“There is a separate budget line for the lake cleanup and those funds have nothing to do with any of the other activities of the FCRC,” Fiumara said. “All the expenses for this lake, there is no administrative cost. Every dollar goes directly into the lake.”

During the public session of Tuesday’s Common Council meeting, Fulton resident Dan Merlino thanked the community for its support but noted that there was a lot of work left to do.

“We’re going to keep this going as a community,” Merlino said. “We’re hoping that everybody will contribute to get one more yard of dredging done at $12.89 a yard.”

With that, the Fulton resident presented a check for $12.89 from his family, and another check from another neighbor.

Council President Dan Knopp, also an FCRC member, thanked Merlino for getting the ball rolling and said anyone who wants to contribute to the One Yard At A Time For $12.89 can send a check payable to the FCRC.

“Our campaigns will continue as far as signature cards, bar-b-ques and t-Shirts,” Knopp added.

Woodward noted that the material left after the sediment has been dredged and dewatered is saleable.

“We’re also going to be looking at marketing that,” the mayor said. Those funds would also be returned to the cleanup.

Merlino said anyone who wishes to contribute to the lake dredging fund can send a check to the FCRC, 125 W Broadway, Fulton, NY  13069.

He noted that all contributions to FCRC specifically for the Lake Neatahwanta cleanup should be noted as such.


  1. It is so nice to see the lake being cleaned up. To bad she will not clean up the corruption that takes place at the Oswego County Family Court. That places men that have families and been married for 20 years in jail for MONEY.
    What a greedy system they have built to enslave people. Family court the most
    uncaring court in the land or is it just the Judge that run the ball game?

  2. Thank you to Patty Ritchie, Joe Fiumara, Mayor Woodward, Fulton City Council, Doug Chapman, the Fulton City Revitalization Corp., and everyone else who is helping the Lake cleanup actually happen. And thank you to everyone who helped keep the Lake cleanup project alive over the past decades. We hope you will help too. How much of the Lake gets cleaned up depends on you. “One yard at a time for $12.89”. Please mail your contributions to Fulton Community Revitalization Corp., 125 W. Broadway, Fulton, NY 13069 or call (315) 593-7166 for more details of how you can contribute. 100% of your contribution goes directly to the Lake cleanup. Thank you.

  3. Before everyone starts popping the corks on the champagne, let’s consider the big picture. $400k is a cup of water in a tub WRT what is needed to bring this lake back. This cleanup will cost millions of $$$ and take decades. The senator will be a footnote in NYS political history books by the time this cleanup is deemed successful. Eutrophication of LN is a natural process which was hastened by 150 years of bad decisions by landholders surrounding the lake. This dredging represents a fraction of what is needed. Additionally, NO progress has been made to stem the flow of nutrients into the lake. There are some scholarly studies pointing the finger but no pink slips are being tendered to the offending parties. Until there is legislation, action, and penalties in place to stem that tide, you’re simply making the mud trap deeper. It’s like putting a new set of tires on your winter rat… It looks great on paper and in the driveway but it still rides like crap.

  4. Sorry to see a Family Court comment here. But some of THAT PROBLEM could be resolved by voting for Lou Anne Rucynski Coleman for Family Court Judge this November.

  5. We all know about the past problems with the Lake, but this best first step toward Her revitalization is to start dredging. Dredging will open the natural springs that have become clogged with sediment. About 14 feet of sediment will be removed from the Lake bottom by dredging, allowing the flow of clean water through our Lake once again. This natural flow of clean water will have a tremendous impact on the health of our Lake. Dredging will have the most immediate impact on healing our Lake as well as the most profound long term impact as she is able to help heal herself. Thank you to everyone for supporting the Lake Dredging Project, “One Yard At A Time Just $12.89”.

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