Freedom – December 18, 2008 – A DES official has confirmed the State will not be able to help fund a $14,000 project to treat Danforth Pond’s milfoil next year. In an email message to Ossipee Lake Alliance, Amy Smagula, a limnologist who manages the State’s Exotic Species Program, said the Danforth Pond proposal fell just short of being one of the 13 programs DES prioritized for funding.
The denial was expected. In October, Smagula said the agency received 36 requests for funds totaling $450,000 and had just $60,000 in its budget. The $60,000 is a 45% decrease from last year’s budget of $110,000 and is the result of fewer boat registrations, which is how New Hampshire funds milfoil control.
DES makes funding decisions using a multi-criteria rating scale, which generally gives priority to new infestations. Danforth Pond has had the invasive weed since the 1980s.
The project, which was supported by Freedom town officials, was prepared by Danforth Pond resident Marcia Murphy and Ossipee Lake Alliance official Susan Marks. It requested that the State fund 30% of the cost with the remainder to be paid for by a combination of Freedom’s milfoil control fund and contributions from businesses and lake residents.
Murphy said the Selectmen have been informed of the State’s denial of the application, adding that she and Danforth Pond resident Jim McElroy are assessing options for keeping the project viable for the coming year.