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Plans call for adding docks

Improving dockage in Gateway Harbor is a priority project, City Engineer Dale Marshall told the Waterfront Commission on Tuesday.

Beverly Loxterman, the panel's chairwoman, asked if additional docks with water and electrical service would be "a reality for the next boating season."

"It has to be," Marshall replied "because I have about [$5 million to $6 million] in other projects" slated for next year, including the Meadow Drive Extension.

He said plans call for adding about 600 feet of docks with power and water hookups between the Delaware Avenue Bridge and the Oliver Street railroad bridge.

Marshall said the project might qualify for a $150,000 state grant through the Lumber City Development Corp.

At the commission's monthly meeting in City Hall, he also provided an update on projects completed this year, including:

* Dredging 500 yards of material from the harbor, financed by a $96,000 state grant.

* Extending a river walk from Fisherman's Park to Gratwick-Riverside Park.

* Repairing the seawall near the pavilion in Gratwick-Riverside Park and building a handicapped-accessible parking lot in the park near the Seabees and Marine monuments. The city could undertake the work, Marshall said, because the bid for the river walk connection came in lower than the state grant.

Next year's projects include more lighting and signs for the Gateway Harbor area along Sweeney Street, he said.

Crews from the city's Public Works Department can install decorative bases for new lighting, which "resembles North Tonawanda in the 1920s."

A steering committee has been formed to consider the graphics and wording of a billboard-size welcoming sign boaters. It will be hung from the railroad bridge over the Erie Canal, Marshall said.

Marshall said a $96,000 state grant is available for improvements to the park area in Weatherbest Slip at the confluence of the Niagara River and Canal off River Road near Goundry Street.

He said he was trying to "marry" that project with replacing a silt-blocked storm sewer outfall in the same area.

e-mail: lwinchester@buffnews.com

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