MAYVILLE - County Executive Greg Edwards believes in the Chautauqua Lake Management Commission.
He also is in favor of keeping an open dialogue with the all-volunteer advisory group and its evolving mission with the lake.
"I think they have done a tremendous job ever since the legislature created it," Edwards told The Post-Journal. "I think the best issue here is how to keep the focus and continue to engage these volunteers, and then go out there and find these dollars."
The CLMC last week gave its 2013 report, which included recommended funding for in-lake and long-term maintenance. The volunteer lake group estimates it would need almost $500,000 for lake-use next year.
"I'm not advocating for a special group or functioning organization right now," said Lyle Hajdu, CLMC chairman. "I just want to sit down and start discussions on how to get some of these things done."
Edwards said he welcomes any talks to discuss the role of the advisory group. He noted the $2.5 million the county has provided for projects the CLMC has identified.
"It will take some real contemplation," he said. "We have put the money into their projects, and now they're getting down to what process they should have going forward.
"This is not an overnight discussion," he continued. "We recognize what they've done."
As for the recommended funding strategies, the county executive said it's good to have some estimates on-hand. He noted, however, that other funding sources - such as local, federal and state - need to be looked at as well.
"I think it's good to know what the best guesses are," Edwards said. "It's good to see their best guesses, and it helps us when dealing at the state and federal level."
Edwards distanced the CLMC's funding recommendations from those of Legislature Minority Leader Lori Cornell, D-Jamestown. Cornell proposed $200,000 in lake funding, a move that was largely ignored by lawmakers.
"I think that was just taking money from our savings account and using 100 percent local tax dollars," he said. "It was completely inappropriate."