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You Paid For It: Hoyt Lake Cleanup | News

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You Paid For It: Hoyt Lake Cleanup
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BUFFALO, NY- Two On Your Side has a follow up to a "You Paid For It" investigation we've been following for two years about repairs to a foul, fishy problem at a popular Buffalo Lake that still haven't been done.

In Wednesday's report, our Michael Wooten explained that the cleanup project for Hoyt Lake that was fully funded more than a year ago still hasn't been completed, and it appears delays in paperwork are to blame.

The Olmsted Parks Conservancy, which oversees the lake, didn't return any of our calls Wednesday.

Thursday we sent Melissa Holmes to their doorstep, to get answers about this unfinished project that you paid for.

2 On Your Side has been following the cleanup efforts at the local landmark since 2010 when state and local leaders gathered there promising funding for a fountain that would take care of some of the problems. But today murky waters and a foul smell continue to keep people away all together.

When we went knocking this time, we didn't get many answers, but within minutes were called back and told the project manager was available for an interview
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So why have taxpayers had to wait 2 years? "Well I guess it's part of the process. Though the initial allocation may have been the discussion point in 2010 the allocation didn't come until 20. Basically with all of the papers and all the allocations it's tied up in the Albany process," said Otis N. Glover, Strategic Planner for the Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

State Senator Mark Grisanti secured the two grants. One grant was for $50,000 to pay for the fountain to help circulate the water and improve oxygen level and another grant for $50,000 was for the Army Corps of Engineers to test the sediment, and find the cause of the stench and fish kill.

"On their paperwork there were glitches for what the money was actually going to be used for," said Grisanti.

He says Olmsted sent its grant paperwork to the Senate Finance Office at least twice, but it was rejected both times because Olmsted wasn't specific enough and also because it wanted to use some of the funding on salaries.

"On some of the forms for expenses they a couple of them were actually for salary or payroll expenses, which is not allowable," said Grisanti.

Glover said that was not true. He is calling this a "teachable moment" for the Olmsted Parks.

"Anytime you're dealing with beaurocracy and it's not your own and you're involved with those beaurocratic processes it's always a learning opportunity," said Glover.

So when can we expect to see the fountain in Hoyt Lake? Grisanti said he's pushing to have it in by the end of the summer. Glover said he's hoping by the end of the year. Although, he said the real results will come from the work done by the Army Corps of Engineers and then he said they're looking for more funding to complete that work.

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