Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 5747

Public Act No. 06-191

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DESIGNATION OF BANTAM LAKE AS A HERITAGE LAKE AND A SCHEDULE FOR THE ANNUAL WATER LEVEL OF LAKE BESECK.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 22a-339f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall:

(1) Designate a lake located in two or more municipalities and Bantam Lake in Morris and Litchfield to be the subject of a program of preservation which may serve as a pilot program for the preservation and enhancement of the historic, cultural, recreational, economic, scenic, public health and environmental value of lakes in this state;

(2) Encourage partnerships and agreements with municipalities which are contiguous to the [lake] lakes and, to the greatest extent practicable under law, direct programs, grants and technical assistance so as to provide environmental support to the [lake] lakes;

(3) Coordinate state and municipal activities and resources to preserve, protect and restore the [lake and its shoreline] lakes and their shorelines;

(4) Provide access to existing scientific data and information relating to the [lake, its shoreline] lakes, their shorelines and watershed [area] areas to the municipalities in which [it is] they are located;

(5) Cooperate with such municipalities to promote and encourage public use and enjoyment of the resource for all lawful purposes consistent with achievement of the other goals set forth in this section;

(6) Provide, upon request of such municipalities, an agency representative to whom they may communicate goals and needs and who shall facilitate communication and interaction between such municipalities and the state; and

(7) Cooperate with the contiguous municipalities in any efforts to protect and preserve the character of the [designated lake as such municipalities may undertake] lakes designated pursuant to subdivision (1) of this section.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective from passage) On or before November 1, 2006, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall enter into an agreement with the town of Middlefield and the Lake Beseck Association regarding a schedule for annual water level draw downs of Lake Beseck. Water level draw downs shall be three feet during even-numbered years with completion achieved by December first of such year and maintained until March first of the following year. Water level draw downs shall be six feet during odd-numbered years achieved by November first of such year and maintained until December thirty-first of such year; a three foot water level draw down shall be maintained thereafter until March first of the following year. Such water level draw downs are designed to balance the various concerns of the lake community, including: Recreational needs, preservation of lakefront infrastructure, fisheries habitat and other natural resource concerns.

Approved June 9, 2006