Hanover Town Board feels time crunch for dredging

HANOVER – The weather has warmed up and with it Hanover officials are feeling the heat to get things in place for dredging this summer.

Hanover hopes to be able to piggyback off the dredging scheduled for mid-June in Barcelona Harbor for its boat launch channel in Cattaraugus Creek. The last time the channel was dredged was more than 10 years ago.

“Its like a new car,” Hanover Highway Superintendent Steve D’Angelo explained. “Eventually, you have to do maintenance.”

At Monday’s town board meeting, D’Angelo reported sitting in on a conference call with town Supervisor Todd Johnson, Legislator George Borrello and representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Environmental Conservation last week.

He said the representative from the ACE stressed following the federal guidelines for core sampling, which must be done before the town is allowed to begin dredging the creek.

D’Angelo said he followed up to see what the federal regulations were, but the representative did not know them offhand. He later received them, but is concerned about timing.

“All of this is taking time, which is running short,” he said.

D’Angelo said he needed to do another drawing, including depths, and submitted it to the ACE with a proposal of two core drilling samples. He said he received a response requiring three samples.

D’Angelo contacted the contractor who is doing the core sampling for the Barcelona Dredging project. He reported the contractor said the cost is really in the testing, not the sampling itself. The contractor said he would give D’Angelo a cost estimate for the service, but had not done so by Monday’s meeting.

“No one seems to be in a hurry and we are running into a time constraint. They plan on doing Barcelona in June,” he said.

However, D’Angelo said the town is not even at the point where it can take samples.

“I have to redo the permit,” he explained. “Last year I put in there that we would have a dewatering station and haul the sediment. Now I need to rewrite it so that we can hopefully dump it into the lake.”

D’Angelo said dumping the sediment into the lake will save the town a lot of money on the project.

Johnson explained the town has received a grant for $75,000 from state Senator Catharine Young’s office and will receive bed tax money from the county, so the project is mostly funded.

“We have enough funding to do at least some of the work. Our problem now is red tape,” he said.

D’Angelo said at this rate, the boat launch will be closed for part of the season, although he does not know when that will be. He added if things do not speed up, the town will miss its window.

“If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, then I don’t know what we are going to do. … We have done our best, but i am not overly optimistic to tell the truth,” he said.

On a positive note, D’Angelo said heavy snowfall this winter is expected to raise the water level in Lake Erie higher than recent years.

“That is good news, but bottom line it needs to be dredged,” he said.

The town board will meet again on April 28.