Money biggest obstacle for Hanover project

HANOVER – Hanover Highway Superintendent Steve D’Angelo said there is one things standing in the way of the town dredging Cattaraugus Creek – money.

D’Angelo reported at the town board meeting Monday that after getting an estimate for the cost of the project and engineering from Rex Tolman of Tolman Eng-ineering, he was told the next step would be to contact the Department of Environmen-tal Conservation.

He told the board the phone call to the DEC went well and it appeared they are in support of the project.

“One of the last things he said to me was, ‘What you did last time worked so why wouldn’t it work this time?'” D’Angelo said.

He said funding is what is holding up the project. Although he has remained in touch with Sen. Cathy Young’s office, there still has been no word of any funding for the project.

D’Angelo also brought up another concern, that there will not be enough time to do the project this year.

“Last time we dredged we started the permitting in December and we dredged in June. You figure that’s a six-month period. But, six months from now may be too late in the year, the DEC will not let us into the creek (during spawning season),” he explained.

Councilman Kevin O’Connell asked if the town can get the permits necessary before receiving funding. D’Angelo said the town will need to have the funds for the engineering because to get the permit the DEC and Army Corps of Engineers will need to see engineering drawings of the project.

The issue of the shallowness of the creek was brought to the town board’s attention by local fishermen several months ago. Cattaraugus Creek was last dredged 11 years ago and cost the town $260,000. Now the price is estimated to cost between $500,000 and $750,000.

“Contractor wages have gone up, the price of diesel fuel has gone up and equipment has gone up in price,” D’Angelo explained.

He said the creek is shallow enough to walk across to the island and if there is another drought the creek will not be passable.

Resident Dick Berner noted how much that will hurt the local economy.

D’Angelo also reported the pipe came in for the Sunset Bay drainage project. He said the town was able to get the pipe cheaper on state bid than the local Amish supplier.

He told the town board he will probably need another easement to do the project but as soon as the weather breaks they plan to begin the project which will divert water from the railroad tracks down Michigan Avenue to Parson’s Pond.

The next town board meeting will be held on April 8.