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Dunkirk council nears approval of bid for harbor dredging

DUNKIRK – The Dunkirk Common Council is poised to approve a contract to dredge the city’s harbor but stopped short of taking action at Tuesday’s meeting.

Only one bid has been received for the work, $136,500 from Dean Marine of Michigan, and it came in one day after the advertised deadline.

Dunkirk’s approval would be contingent on the Hanover Town Board approving a similar agreement for Sunset Bay.

The motion to approve the contract was tabled and will be brought up at a future meeting, when it is expected to be approved. 

The long-awaited work would begin this summer and cover removing about 10,000 cubic yards of sediment at the Dunkirk Pier and small boat harbor. The depth of the harbor has been an issue for boaters in the area. 

The dredging project was under discussion in 2014 while dredging equipment was at the Barcelona Harbor in Westfield. Weather conditions last year prevented the equipment from being transferred to another area.  

Dunkirk and Hanover will share a $20,000 mobilization fee, which brings the heavy equipment into the two harbors.

Mayor A.J. Dolce said that a special meeting may be needed so that the project can be approved soon.

The funding for the project includes some contributions from outside sources.  Dunkirk and Hanover would share $100,000 earmarked by State Sen. Catherine Young, R-Olean, and another $50,000 from the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy.  

In other matters, Dolce said Chautauqua County will start complete reconstruction of Willowbrook Avenue this week. “It is something we have been waiting for,” he said.  He said new benches and flower boxes will be placed in the Coburn block of the city.  Remodeling of buildings in the one-block area of the lower end of Central Area is being made possible through a grant with the Main Street Program. 

Councilwoman Stacy Szukala asked about the bids for the next phase of work required under the Department of Health consent order for the city’s water system  Dolce said work is progressing and he recently has been in contact with representatives from the department.