Hanover dredging outlook changes

HANOVER – Two weeks made all the difference in changing the outlook on dredging the town of Hanover boat launch along with other lakeside communities this summer.

At the town board’s July 14 meeting, Highway Superintendent Steve D’Angelo said he believed the project to be dead because the Department of Environmental Conservation and Army Corps of Engineers would not cooperate with his efforts to gain permits for the project.

“It has been very, very frustrating dealing with the Corps and the DEC the last couple of weeks. I said at the last meeting that I was out of answers,” he explained at the most recent town board meeting.

However, he said his outlook has made a 180-degree turn after receiving help from County Legislator George Borrello, Assemblyman Andy Goodell, State Senator Cathy Young and Congressman Tom Reed.

“They must have lit a fire under these agencies. Things have really turned around,” he said.

One of the issues before was the questions of where the town could dump the dredged sediment.

D’Angelo had good news that both environmental agencies have now agreed that the dredged material can be dumped in Lake Erie near Sunset Bay and Dunkirk. He noted this will mean a significant time and cost savings for the town, which would otherwise have to dewater the material and find an appropriate place in the town to use it as fill.

He had even more good news when it came to cost savings.

“We have $11,000 in the pot right now (for sediment testing), but if we would have done this project alone, it would have cost $43,000 just for the engineering. So, right off the bat we have saved money,” he added.

D’Angelo reported the DEC issued a notice of completion for the dredging permit, which holds a 15-day public comment period, and he expects the ACE to follow suit shortly.

“We are close to the deadline, but I feel much better about the project. It is starting to look like things are going our way,” he said.

He thanked local elected officials and County Water Shed Coordinator Dave McCoy for helping turn the project’s outlook around.

Borrello, who attended the meeting, called the effort “all hands on deck” and thanked D’Angelo for sticking with the project.

He asked Town Attorney Jeffrey Passafaro if because of the unique situation, the work will not need to be bid out. Passafaro said there is an exception in the law for when another entity bids the work first and allows another municipality to join, but he would double check with county counsel.

Hanover is set to be the third municipality to be dredged, after Barcelona Harbor in Westfield and Dunkirk’s Harbor. Westfield was able to get the ball rolling with a grant for storm damage from Hurricane Sandy and local government officials made it possible for Dunkirk and Hanover to tag along with use of the dredging equipment through grants and cost saving measures.

The Hanover Town Board will meet again on Aug. 11.