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Durkirk meeting set Wednesday on Chautauqua County waterfront

DUNKIRK – The committee handling the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan is having an open meeting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to hear public input on the future of Chautauqua County’s waterfront area.

“This will outline specific projects that will benefit the region,” said city Planning Director Steven R. Neratko. He spoke at Tuesday’s meeting of the City of Dunkirk Planning and Economic Development Committee on Tuesday in City Hall.

Wednesday’s meeting will be held at the SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator at 214 Central Ave. in the city.

“Basically, this will be an outline of what we want to see for the future of the city,” Neratko said, adding that the meeting is important for the entire region and that the City of Dunkirk has a large stake in the regional plan, with a significant geographic area included in the designated area.

Funding through the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is available to communities that have regional plans to maintain and enhance their waterfront areas.

Programs that have received benefits from the federal Community Development Block Grant program were reviewed by committee members.

Major repairs were funded for the Dunkirk Senior Citizen Center, according to a report provided by grant program administrator Nicole M. Waite. She said that the parking lot was repaved and repaired at a cost of $44,250 and that the center’s roof was repaired at a cost of $8,000.

The Boys & Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County recently received $5,310 for a career exploration program to benefit 8- to 14-year-old students from the block grant program, she said.

Waite reported that funds from the federal grant program will be drawn to pay for some of the demolition costs of some deteriorated houses in the city. She said that asbestos content reports on the properties have not yet been received.

Neratko said the asbestos content reports are holding up the demolition process. Once the reports are received, he said, then contractors can be hired for the demolition.

Neratko said that four or five more homes will be selected in the near future to be demolished. Once the homes are leveled, he said, the land will be offered for sale to neighboring property owners to increase the size of their lots.