WILSON – The Niagara River Greenway Commission has approved $220,000 to help the Town of Wilson dredge Wilson Harbor.
The Host Communities Standing Committee, which controls the Greenway purse strings in Niagara County, unanimously granted the request of Wilson Supervisor Joseph A. Jastrzemski.
“We wouldn’t be able to do the job without the Greenway committee’s help,” Jastrzemski said.
Work has been underway since September and is expected to continue through the winter, with a goal of finishing work by April 1.
The main dredging is in the Federal Channel, the main boat route in and out of the harbor, where silt and sediment have been building up and restricting access. Dredging there will go 9-feet deep, Jastrzemski said.
State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane, obtained $150,000 in state money for part of the channel. The Army Corps of Engineers hired a Toledo, Ohio, firm to dredge the entrance. The Greenway money allows for an extension of the dredging at the channel entrance beyond what was included in the Corps’ contract.
The removed material is to be dumped about 1.5 miles off Lake Ontario’s shore.
Other sediment will be removed in an offshoot of the main channel, referred to in the plans as the “Town Area,” between the piers and mooring areas.
Private entities, such as the Tuscarora Yacht Club, which control property around the harbor, will be paying for dredging in those areas, the supervisor said.
In another matter this week, the Town of Niagara agreed to return nearly $500,000 that the Host Communities Standing Committee gave it in 2008 to develop Phase III of the town’s Veterans Memorial Park.
The town was allocated up to $3 million and actually withdrew $2.35 million from its Greenway allocation between 2009 and 2013. However, the town ended up spending only $1.85 million.