Senator Ritchie Visits Fulton to See Lake Project in Action

FULTON, NY – NYS Senator Patty Ritchie representing District 48 made a stop in Fulton to see the dredge that was purchased with partial funds secured through a grant from her office.

“Eight years ago when I first got involved in Oswego County, this was one of the first projects I heard about,” Ritchie said. “It’s great to come here and see it happening, to see how far you’ve come in tackling the problem.”

Officially, the dredging of Lake Neatahwanta began three years ago.

In its first year, Ritchie secured $100,000 for the city of Fulton to help offset expenditures for hiring an out of state dredging company to perform the work. Likewise, the town of Granby was awarded $100,000 through a grant from Senator Ritchie for dredging purposes as well.

In the second year, the same financial commitment was made to both municipalities again.

This year, Senator Ritchie utilized a $100,000 grant to help the city of Fulton to purchase a dredge from the company that had been doing the work prior, Groh Dredging.

Fulton purchased a dredge from Groh Dredging and completed a three-day training for city employees to operate the dredge moving forward with all city-owned resources.

With matching funds from the city, the $200,000 purchase is sure to make the project’s process speed up, Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr. said, all the while maintaining the overall goal to make the lake swimmable and safe for recreational use once again.

Dredging became a necessary project, Woodward said, after years of sediment build up contributed to a shallower depth and warmer water, both conditions that allow blue-green algae to thrive.

The presence of blue-green algae was the reason the lake was deemed not-swimmable by local health officials, closing the once heavily used Stevenson Beach off of C.C.W. Barrett Drive.

The process of dredging involves disturbing the nutrients in the water by using the dredge to reach 4-5 feet under the lake bottom, pumping water and sediment through a hose into a geotube on shore.

From there, an environmentally safe chemical, flocculant, then separates the water from the solid material, at which time clean water seeps out of the tubes and returns to the lake.

A project permit will allow dredging to continue for seven more years.

Senator Ritchie looks over the 700-acre Lake Neatahwanta with Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr.

Woodward is adamant that the purchase of the dredge will allow the project to move along faster and well as more cost effectively, and he thanked Senator Ritchie for her role in that purchase.

“It’s a long process but at some point people will be able to use it again. You should be proud of yourself because most people (dismiss) Fulton but with your assistance this is really going to help the whole community, so thank you,” Woodward said to Ritchie.

“I can’t wait to see them swim in it!” Ritchie replied.

Aside from yearly contributions, Woodward said Ritchie has also used grant funding to help Fulton Fire Department purchase a fire engine as well as most recently securing a $200,000 grant for completing demolition at the former Nestle site.

“She has been very helpful for the city of Fulton,” he said.


  1. I’m still wondering why,after several years,the city stopped dredging,let it fill back in,, millions spent,then dredge again,hmm…..why on this God’s green earth would you spend 15,000 dollars to do a study of the Nestle site,,,….REALLY,and build a staircase to the rivee.,when if you walk to either end of your proposed site you can drive down there or at the upper bridge you can walk down…but yet don’t worry about the 20,000 veterans you have in this county,I’m so glad to be away from all this corruption in the city of Mayberry…wake up Fulton before it’s too late or as I say get out now,,, Oswego has it going on,,but the south is very nice ,and they love veterans,,,once again mayor,you keep proving me right….

  2. The nutrients and 800 yards of sediment are still entering the lake every year, and will continue to long after dredging stops.

  3. In studying other similar projects, I’ve noticed that preventing these pollutants from entering the Lake from the surrounding properties is always part of keeping this from reoccurring! Obviously the lands around the lake are higher than the water and would naturally receive drainage from them, so if the farmers are using fertilizers they will end up in the lake, also street storm drainage may be ending up into the lake. Most of these similar projects create catch basins or small ponds to capture these materials before they end up into the lake. Rivers don’t have these problem because there is current and natural flow to wash away this debris. Hope this money spent is not all for naught!

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