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Work on bike path project discussed

City officials Tuesday had a lengthy debate about proceeding with work on the bike path project.

City Council members, during their regular meeting, discussed the future of the project from a funding standpoint, as well as potential changes.

Councilman Michael Michalski sponsored the resolution authorizing TVGA Consultants to supplement the original phase two of the design of the project. The amount for redesign is not to exceed $7,500, and the amount for revising bid documents is not too exceed $1,500.

Councilwoman Stacy Szukala, who also supported the motion, voiced several concerns about funding but cautioned others that the failure to proceed with the project could result in having to return more than $20,000.

Councilwoman at Large Stephanie Kiyak said she would not support the resolution based on the lack of public input into the project. She cast the lone "no" vote.

The bike path project has been under way for several years and is expected to conclude with a paved path along Lakefront Boulevard. Preliminary plans include renovations of the seawall in the Lakefront area, as well. Phase two of the project will include a pedestrian trail along Point Gratiot and North Deer Street.

Also approved was a resolution authorizing Mayor A.J. Dolce to execute an agreement with the state Department of Environmental Conservation for use of some land near the agency's building, close by the Dunkirk Lighthouse, for part of the bike path.

The bike and pedestrian path is part of a long-term plan to increase public access to areas near the Dunkirk Harbor.

The city pier will be the site this weekend for an opening summer festival called "Wreck and Roll." Music, contests, food and other entertainment will be held Friday and Saturday on the pier.

City Police Chief David Ortolano urged all visitors to use public parking lots near Washington Street and Central Avenue.

Concerts on the pier will continue Thursday evenings throughout the summer.

In other matters, $500 was authorized to help support Senior Sweep Day. Szukala said she has had a difficult time gaining monetary donations for the annual cleanup day that is attended by Dunkirk High School seniors.

This year marks the 11th year of the program, and 137 students have signed up to participate in citywide trash pickup and cleaning. Szukala said the cost of the event is about $900 to cover T-shirts and food for the student volunteers. The event will be held June 21.