Lake Ontario floods destroyed past cleanup efforts on Olcott Beach

Town of Newfane Supervisor defends reasoning behind Olcott Beach's year-long shutdown

Mike Baggerman
May 21, 2019 - 3:00 am

Olcott Beach. May 20, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)


OLCOTT, N.Y. (WBEN) - Olcott Beach is closed for the entire season after Town of Newfane Supervisor Tim Horanburg made the announcement last week.

While, on its surface, it seems overkill to close the beach all year due to the flooding on Lake Ontario, Horanburg explained that there were a number of factors involved with making the tough decision to close it for a full season.

"We looked at what's happening now, what's forecasted to happen, and then we looked at what point in time they're talking about the water receding," Horanburg explained. "Through all of those things - we're going to increase this week above 2017 levels, that could go on until mid-June...Everything we put in there last year is gone and I can't waste any more money putting new sand in there. It's just not worth it."

Olcott Beach. May 20, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Water levels might not recede until August, meaning there's little time for beachgoers to enjoy Olcott Beach. The closed beach also means nine lifeguards will be without work this summer.

Following the flooding along Lake Ontario in 2017, Horanburg said the town spent $40,000 to clean up the beach for the 2018 season. Cleanup for last year included road repairs, new sand, and general cleanup of debris of logs. The town did not even begin cleanup efforts along Olcott Beach for 2019.

"There's no sand (or anything)," Horanburg said about the beach. "Plus, if you look at it, it's full of logs and debris. It just gets worse. It's an impossibility."

Horanburg said Olcott Beach is the only beach that is closed and that there are still plenty of options available for people including a nearby splash park.

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