Hanover board discusses dredging

HANOVER – As the dredging project for the town of Hanover nears, there are still some unanswered questions. The Hanover Town Board discussed the dredging project during Monday’s work session.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers required the town to take a second set of core samples. This second round of testing cost the town $1,900 in addition to the first round of testing which cost $6,200. The results for the most recent test will be used to tell if the material recovered from dredging will be able to be dumped in Lake Erie. County Legislator George Borrello recommends the town ask for the money back it paid for expedited results since the results have not come in.

“Land-based removal of the sediment of the dredging material versus lake-based (removal) is all hingeing right now on this second study,” Borrello said.

If the samples come back as incompatible with the lake, the material dredged would have to be removed and placed on land instead. Supervisor Todd Johnson said by dumping the material in the lake, the town would save money and be able to dredge more area. Borrello also asked the town board if the study shows a land-base disposal is necessary, would that off set costs of the project.

“In-lake dumping would be ideal. (The U.S.) Army Corps and (Department of Environmental Conservation) are concerned with the compatibility of the dredging materials in the lake. If they’ve ever been down here after a heavy rain I don’t understand what they are talking about because whatever is in there goes shooting out into the lake anyway,” said Borrello. “Somehow they think there is a barricade there that stops the gravel from going into the lake.”

When the town previously completed a dredging project, a local gravel company offered to pay 25 cents per yard for the material; the town decided this was not a high enough price to offset the expense. If the town had to transport the material for land-based removal, Highway Superintendent Steve D’Angelo had concerns about available man hours. According to Supervisor Todd Johnson, the highway department is behind due to the rough winter and D’Angelo is unsure if other municipalities would be able to help remove the material.

The town also had questions about where the material could be stored. In the past when the town did not sell the material, the town kept it as storage to use at a later time. Johnson said the town would like to keep the material on town-owned property next to the sewer plant; however, it is in a flood plain so it is not feasible. Other options for storage include the highway barn or the Hanover Center Fire Department, which has been used in the past.

“My suggestion was … to reach out to Gernatt (Gravel Products) or whoever – Gernatt last time had an interest – and possibly see if they wanted to put an offer in on that in the process to purchase it,” Johnson said.

Dredging is estimated to start in early September following the completion of both Barcelona and Dunkirk harbors. According to Borrello, Dean Williams of Dean Marine and Excavating estimated Barcelona dredging to take 45 days and Dunkirk to take about five days. The plan is to start at the end of the week in Barcelona and move to Dunkirk then Hanover. Johnson had a concern the DEC could place a restriction on the town dredging during fishing season at the beginning of September. Borrello said Williams is willing to work with the town and could even come to Hanover before Dunkirk since mobilization costs are minimal once he is in western New York.

During the meeting, the town board approved Johnson to execute a contract with Chautauqua County to dredge Cattaraugus Creek harbor through the county’s 2 percent occupancy tax lakes and waterways reserve fund and the county’s allocation for projects recommended by the Lake Erie Management Commission.

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