Residents Vote in Favor of Little York Lake Special Taxing District

Lakeshore residents voted in favor of the creation of a new special taxing district that would cover properties around Little York Lake in the towns of Homer and Preble.

The Little York Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District was approved with 61 “yes” votes out of 93 total, and would tax around 114 lakeshore residents. The funds would go toward lake preservation projects. 

According to Little York Lake Preservation Society (LYLPS) president Gary Lawrence, the tax rate is still being figured out.

“It will be less than $1 per thousand,” Lawrence noted. “The creation of the district enables us to know what we can budget for so we can plan our yearly treatment accordingly. Now we will know exactly what we have to work with.”

Whether residents voted in favor or against the creation of the district, Lawrence said he hopes those in the area see this move as a collective positive.

“I hope we can see this as a common goal and come together, mend our fences, and work toward the betterment of the lake,” he noted. “This will make the lake more enjoyable and more pleasant to the eye.”

Treatment of the lake will continue this year and has been ongoing for the last few years, according to Lawrence.

“Most people have been contributing. I would say 75 percent of residents around the lake have been contributing,” he said. With this taxing district, everybody benefits from the lake.”

Lawrence said the district was received with some controversy, though admittedly at a small scale.

“Who wants to add more taxes to their property?,” he said. “But this is a way to ensure your property value stays up. If you have a lake that is just a wetland, filled with weeds, your property value will certainly diminish substantially.”

The LYLPS will continue holding conversations with the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on how to best treat the lake. Lawerence said there will be some chemical treatment expected this year, as well as a two-week period of mechanical harvesting in June and July.

Property owner Christine Pacheco, who operates the Little York Lake NY Neighborhood Facebook page along with her husband Manny Pacheco, said her family was “delighted that the referendum passed.”

“Our concern was that if it had failed, there was no identified back-up plan to mitigate the inevitable return of invasive species and weeds,” she said. “Although the vote makes some residents unhappy, I presume the return of these nasty invasive species and the decrease in property values would be a bigger loss. We appreciate the work done by the LYLPS committee to communicate the issues and those who have followed along on our Facebook page.”