Dave Rubebstein, a member the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, a nonprofit group dedicated to improving the lake, plans to donate money toward increasing police patrols on it to improve summer safety, according to a report by NJ.com.
According to the NJ.com report, the Morris and Sussex county sheriff's offices, volunteer emergency services and the New Jersey State Police met last summer to discuss how to make the lake safer. What followed from the the foundation sent a proposal to the State Police, which patrols the lake. The proposal detailed a plan to pay for beefed up patrols during "key hours," which Rubenstein described as nights and weekends, from about August to Labor Day, NJ.com reported.
Whether or not the new patrol plan comes to fruition remains to be seen. Earlier this month the Lake Hopatcong Foundation reached out to residents as they searched for an alternate way to fund their programs.
Formed in 2012, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation established itself as a resource for the lake community: within its first months of existence, it already has a variety of projects and initiatives under its belt, from providing funding to Jefferson Township for its lakeside walking trails at Prospect Point to a promotion that encouraged residents to shop locally after Hurricane Sandy.
Looking forward, the coming months will be busy, with volunteer groups working to increase police presence on the water during summer weekends; to plan a “Support Lake Hopatcong Businesses” weekend; to commission a long-term water quality study; and to develop a Lake Hopatcong phone and tablet app that would allow users to learn about severe weather, lake laws and regulations, upcoming events, local businesses, recreational opportunities, and historical information.
All of this is possible because of the donations of residents, which totaled more than $340,000 in 2012. Less than 10 percent of the money raised was used for administrative and operating expenses. The foundation also hired Donna Macalle-Holly, who has more than a decade of experience working with the Lake Hopatcong Commission.
“We could not be more thrilled to bring Donna on board,” said foundation president Jessica K. Murphy. "She has a wealth of knowledge on the lake and has extensive experience securing grant money for Lake Hopatcong. In this role, she will continue to bring dollars in for the lake from a variety of sources, and make sure that all of the progress in water quality in recent years will continue.”