Senator Schumer gives details about clean-up plan at Ontario Beach Park

Posted at: 07/02/2013 2:16 AM | Updated at: 07/02/2013 5:43 PM

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What's the point of having a lake, if you can't use it. Once again, the "No Swimming" signs went up Tuesday at two popular beaches. Both Durand Eastman and Ontario Beach were closed to swimmers. The reason is recent rainfall or poor water quality.

It's been an ongoing problem. In recent years, the beaches have been closed between 30% to 50% of the season.

On Tuesday, area lawmakers and officials came together to say this has to stop. They no longer want to sit on the sidelines while residents in the Rochester area lose out on a summer resource because of an ongoing problem.

Senator Schumer said, “That is disgraceful, close to half the time to have these beautiful beaches closed, that's wrong.We shouldn't just say, 'well that's life and we can live with this.' We got to change it."

Senator Schumer announced a plan that would hopefully reinstate nearly $10 million in federal funding for beach and water monitoring programs. That money was slashed from the budget and is desperately needed to help clean up Ontario Beach, which is rated one of the worst beaches in the country due to problems with bacteria. The senator says this new plan is different from old initiatives because it's a plan that involves lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. Both he and County Executive Maggie Brooks agree when it comes to Rochester residents' safety, it's a non-partisan issue.

If the new plan for funding is approved, Senator Schumer says we could have Rochester off the "Area of Concern" list by 2016.

To find out which beaches are open for swimming, call the beach hotline at 585-753-5887.

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