DEC cleanup at city marina almost finished

Another impediment to harborfront development has been removed. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has removed two tanks that were located on city property that is currently used by Chadwick Bay Marina.

According to city Development Director Steve Neratko, the DEC wanted to get the job done.

“There was some long-time cleanup that needed to happen there. … They finally said ‘enough was enough, we’re going in and doing it.’ So they are cleaning it up. I think there were a couple tanks in the ground which is what they wanted to remove,” Neratko explained, adding the hole is expected to be filled in today.

Mayor Anthony J. Dolce, who was a councilman when the neighboring Boardwalk Market was built, said the DEC began by digging up a small tank.

“They discovered an 8 by 32-foot tank. The chemicals were contained in there so we think that’s the end of it,” Dolce stated. “My understanding is they did some initial boring before they built the Boardwalk but didn’t discover anything that needed any removal, so their efforts were focused slightly behind that.”

As for who pays for the cleanup work, Neratko said time will tell who will get a bill.

“It’s kind of the same situation as Bertges where the DEC does the cleanup and they forward it on to the Attorney General’s office,” he stated.

“The Attorney General’s office does some research and then they come back and they basically tell people, either current owners or past owners, who is going to be responsible for it.”

Neratko said it was similar to the Fourth Street incident from a few years back.

“It might be a little bit of time before we hear anything, kind of like that situation where it was years later before we heard anything about it,” he added. “We’re expecting at some point we’ll probably have to pay something.”

Neratko added there was an appeal process.

“But really they look at current owners, past owners, if somebody had leased the property and they contaminated it for some reason. They look at all that historical use of it and then they make their decisions,” he explained. “Sometimes, for whatever reason, the state will pay a portion of it as well. They don’t force the community to make the whole payment themselves. We’re hopeful in that, they seem to be working well with us. We’ll see how it turns out but we were mandated to do the cleanup, so it had to be done.”

Dolce was asked about progress on restaurant plans at the marina.

“We’ve been in contact with Mr. (Jeff) Gambino quite a bit the last few weeks and our hope is that he proceeds according to his plan,” Dolce replied. “As far as the marina, he’s had a good amount of boat slips and I know he’s done a lot of work to the docks, so that’s a positive there.”

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