Share this article

print logo

Dunkirk City Council gets update on plan to shore up crumbling breakwater

DUNKIRK – Mayor A.J. Dolce said Tuesday that the city engineer has been working on design specifications to shore up the breakwater behind the community’s water-treatment plant.

On Saturday, he confirmed that the breakwater is in danger of collapse onto the city’s water-intake line. He provided an update on the problem to City Council members meeting Tuesday in City Hall.

Dolce said emergency management personnel from Chautauqua County and the Army Corps of Engineers have visited the breakwater site.

“The most important section is behind the water plant,” said Department of Public Works Director Anthony G. Gugino, who added that he Corps used underwater cameras to look at the damage about one week ago. What they saw confirmed that the breakwater – more than 50 years old – needs to be stabilized.

“We did do an emergency bracing to support the 24-inch water line,” said Gugino, who noted the work was completed Tuesday. “We are working with all the agencies for a permanent fix.”

Dolce said he is looking for financial and technical support from the county, as well as state and federal agencies.

In other matters:

• Janice L. Dekoff, librarian of the Dunkirk Free Library, asked for support for the library’s petition to become a district library. A vote on the proposal will be held June 23, when members of a board to govern the library also will be selected. The library is seeking a $350,000 annual tax levy that would be footed by residents via the city school district’s tax bills

“The reason for this is to make the library sustainable for many years to come,” Dekoff said, adding that more than 33,000 people borrowed from the library in 2014 and that more than 17,000 people used the library’s computers.

Dekoff said the library has absorbed several cutbacks in recent years, including hours open and services. Dekoff said the library would like to add after-school programs and more Saturday hours.

• Voted, 4-1, to let the Joe Karnes Memorial Benefit Softball Tournament to be played at Promenschenkel Stadium on July 11. Councilman Andy Gonzales voted against the measure because alcohol will be sold on the premises. “Sometimes beer and sports get out of hand,” he said.

• A public hearing on new fees to be charged for building and zoning permits and applications will be held at 5:15 p.m. May 19. A list of the proposed costs is available for review in City Hall.

• H&K Services, of Leon, was awarded a $674,600 contract for improvements to the water-treatment plant sedimentation system. The company also was awarded a $388,700 contract to repair the Benton Street water tank. The work is part of the Health Department consent orders for improvements to the water system.

• Police Chief David C. Ortolano said stop signs will be installed on Millennium Parkway at Lincoln and Talcott streets. This is in response to a petition with about 500 signatures requesting the stop signs. A traffic study was conducted.

• Gugino announced that Seventh Street will be resurfaced this summer, with similar work planned on other city streets.

• The Council approved a charge of $200 to private contractors who use the city’s facility to dump brush and yard waste.