Editorial: Sen. Bray gets to the point on funding lake cleanup

Sen. Chris Bray’s idea to create a per-parcel fee to help pay for the cleanup of Lake Champlain and its related waterways addresses the elephant in the room that others have failed to do: find a way to raise the long-term money needed to accomplish the task.
An advisory council formed to make funding recommendations outlined vague suggestions of what to consider in a funding mechanism, but had dodged the nut of the issue.
Bray’s proposal raises $18.8 million of the estimated $30 million that needs to be raised each year for the next 20 years as the state’s share of a federally mandated $2.6 billion cleanup of Lake Champlain and related waterways. According to one funding model, the per-parcel fee would amount to about $1 per week, or $52 per year. We profile Bray’s solution in a front-page story, and encourage everyone to read it through to get an understanding of the issue before he brings it up in bill form during the 2018 session.
Bray’s solution will undoubtedly need to be fine-tuned. Bugs will be found, workarounds required and compromises made. That’s the legislative process. But someone has to first address the problem head-on. Kudos to Sen. Bray for taking that leap.
Angelo Lynn

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