Dredging could be dead in the water for town of Hanover

HANOVER – Thousands of dollars could be down the drain and boating tourism could be in jeopardy for the town of Hanover if something does not change soon.

Highway Superintendent Steve D’Angelo had bad news for the town board at its recent meeting when it came to the pending dredging project at Cattaraugus Creek.

“What a nightmare this is starting to be,” he said.

He said he recently had to send the depths and soundings of the channel to the Army Corps of Engineers for the third time.

D’Angelo explained the town had to pay an additional $1,900 on top of the second set of sediment tests required by the Army Corps of Engineers. He said this brings the total just for testing up to $8,200.

“It is looking like now the Army Corps (of Engineers) wants us to get a surveyor to survey the channel. If we do that it will be another $2,000 to $3,000. If we do that we will be $10,000 to $11,000 into this and we will be no closer to getting this done than we were last fall,” D’Angelo added.

He continued that testing is not the only problem with the project, there is still a question of what can be done with the sediment once it has been dredged out of the channel.

The town had originally hoped to be able to dump the dredged material in to Lake Erie, however this is not looking like a viable option.

D’Angelo said he asked if Gernatt’s would take the gravel dredged out of the creek, but was told they are not interested.

“My next plan was to fill in the property next to the sewer plant. The (Depart-ment of Environmental Conservation) said we could do that if the code officer approves it because it is in a flood plain. Then the Army Corps said ‘no.’ The Army Corps said we could put it along the bank, but if we have heavy rains it will end up right back in the channel. So, we asked them if we could put it on the beach. The Corps said that was OK, but the DEC said ‘no,'” he explained.

He said with no where to put the material, the project is not looking like it will go forward.

“Honestly it doesn’t look like this project will go. I think it is dead. There is nothing more I can do. We are just spinning our wheels and doing nothing,” he added.

D’Angelo said he told the ACE and DEC the town stands to lose a lot of grant money if this project does not occur, but they did not seem to care.

“If we don’t get this done while the equipment is here then we won’t be able to afford the project, and even more if the grant money is gone,” Councilman Kevin O’Connell said.

Supervisor Todd Johnson said a conference call with entities involved in the dredging was postponed in order to have a face-to-face meeting soon.

D’Angelo also reported sending the red 10-wheel truck to Batavia for the third time for repairs. He said he hopes the problem will be found and fixed so that the town can use it to plow snow this winter.

He also reported he has heard that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Barak Obama have declared the storm that affected the town in May available for Federal Emergency Management Agency funding. He said the town suffered damage to King and Hopper roads in excess of $100,000 worth of storm damage which the town can claim. However, he has not received any paperwork yet to get the process going.

The Hanover Town Board will meet again July 28. The Hanover Planning Board will meet July 21 at 7:30 p.m. for two public hearings on subdivisions.