Keuka Lake Association moves to Penn Yan

Loujane Johns
Margo McTaggart at the?KLA office in Penn Yan.

The Keuka Lake Association didn’t really come to Penn Yan by boat, but the organization moved its office from Hammondsport to 142 Main Street in Penn Yan.

The freshly painted and remodeled location is on the corner of Main and Maiden Lane.  A sign will be going up very soon to identify the office.

Keuka Lake Administrative Assistant Margo McTaggart has been with the association, at the Hammondsport location for eight years. 

That location on the southern end of Keuka, was recently put up for sale, according to McTaggart.  She said the officers decided the move would be an opportunity for exposure on the northern end of the lake.

The new office is large enough to hold board and committee meetings.  McTaggart said the group will still try to hold alternate meetings in the Hammondsport area.  No matter where the meetings are held the approximately 1800 members have a common goal of protecting the quality of the lake.

“Preserving and protecting Keuka Lake and its natural beauty and future generations,” is the stated mission of KLA, founded in 1956.  To accomplish this mission the organization focuses on three main efforts.

KLA works closely with Keuka Watershed Improvement Cooperative (KWIC) to monitor the quality of the water through regular testing.  McTaggart says Cornell Cooperative Extension Director Peter Landre has been very helpful with the testing process.  A crew of association volunteers conducts tests at random locations on all branches of Keuka Lake.

Monitoring the lake level assures protection of lakeshore property from damage. KLA works with Keuka Lake Outlet Compact (KLOC), a committee of representatives from towns and villages around the lake, who are responsible for keeping lake levels within limits.

The third focus is on safe navigation of Keuka Lake waters.  The KLA cooperates with the Yates and Steuben County Sheriff’s Departments by keeping residents and visitors informed about safe boating.

Available at the office are copies of the New York State Navigation Law with regulations for Keuka Lake and fishing regulations.  McTaggart also has dock number plates, which helps identify a lake residence from the water in case of an emergency. 

“I don’t have all the answers, but I can steer people in the right direction,” McTaggart said.  Most  inquires are received by phone or e-mail, she says.  She fields questions concerning run-off problems to what to do with a dead deer floating in the lake.  She says one of the most common questions is posed by new residents - Why is the lake foaming?  (The foaming is a natural occurance.) 

“We are fortunate to have a very knowledgeable 20-member Board of Directors, who serve on a variety of committees within the organization,”  she said. They represent towns all around the lake in both counties.

Membership is open to lakeshore property owners, businesses and others interested in Keuka Lake protection. 

Members receive a newsletter several times a year and an annual meeting for all members is held  mid-summer. Every few years a directory of all lake residents is published.  An 18 month KLAeidoscope of Keuka Calendar is for sale at various locations throughout the area.  The pictures were chosen from a photo contest and illustrate the beauty of Keuka Lake.

The new KLA office is generally open on Tuesday and Thursday from 9-2 p.m.  Phone 315-694-7324 or toll-free 1-866-369-3781 or e-mail