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Dunkirk approves dredging of harbor

DUNKIRK – A dredging project to improve the Dunkirk recreational harbor was approved by members of the Common Council Tuesday.

The contact for the work is with Dean Marine of Michigan. A motion for the work had been tabled during a previous meeting, pending research and details. But on Tuesday, a revised motion with more details about the funding was unanimously approved.

Dean Marine worked on the Barcelona Harbor in Westfield last year, dredging and deepening the harbor after several storms created shallows. The cost for the city’s work is $116,500, with an additional fee of $52,885 for mobilizing the equipment used for the work.

Funding includes a $100,000 grant through State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, and $70,000 from Chautauqua County.

“I am happy to say all the details have been worked out and it looks like, late September, the dredging will take place in our inner harbor,” Mayor A.J. Dolce said.

The contract requires a cooperative agreement with the Town of Hanover, where the Cattaraugus Creek’s small boat harbor at Sunset Bay will also be deepened.

In other business:

• Dolce is accepting ideas on how to honor late sports broadcasting legend Van Miller, who grew up in Dunkirk.

• City Treasurer Mark Woods reported that he is calculating the projected increase in water rates, factoring in the cost of financing the improvements to the water system.

“Our water rates will increase whether there is any connection with the North County Water District or not,” Woods added.

The Council and mayor recently received a draft proposal for the planned water district, which would serve rural areas and villages that are in need of treated water. The city would be the supplier of water to the smaller communities.

The mayor said he believes selling water to the other communities could help stabilize water rates for city customers.

• The reconstruction of Willowbrook Avenue and East Seventh Street is underway. The mayor said the projects involve new water lines and other infrastructure, in addition to paving.

• Councilman-at-Large Willie Rosas asked Police Chief David Ortolano and Department of Public Works Director Tony Gugino to investigate recent graffiti on buildings at Point Gratiot.

• Mike Civiletto asked the council to address a lot on Ruggles Street, where debris from a burned building demolition remains after two years. He presented a petition and photos of the area. Code Enforcement Officer Al Zurawski said he has talked to the owner of the lot.