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Dunkirk City Council clarifies financial arrangements for harbor dredging

DUNKIRK – The City Council this week clarified its financial obligations on dredging Dunkirk Harbor.

The deepening of the small boat harbor has already been approved, with a contract awarded to Dean Marine of Michigan. Most of the cost will be footed by other governmental agencies.

Chautauqua County was awarded $275,000 from the state Department of Environmental Conservation toward harbor work in both Dunkirk and the Town of Hanover. The mayor said the new resolution allows the city to act as the financial manager of funds distributed by other agencies to pay the contractor.

Chautauqua County will contribute $150,000 toward the project from its occupancy tax and State Sen. Catherine Young, R-Olean, secured $100,000 in state funding.

City Attorney Ron Szot said that the resolution is a clarification on dividing up funding between Dunkirk and the Town of Hanover.

Mayor A.J. Dolce said dredging may begin this fall, depending on the weather.

If the contractor cannot complete the job this fall it will resume in the spring, the mayor said.

Other work at the city harbor will be done by a private club that received permission to use the pier. The city is allowing the Dunkirk Yacht Club to use some of the city pier area for storing construction materials for docks that are being replaced. The Council approved the request, pending receipt of insurance from the club.

In other matters:

• Councilman Andolino Gonzalez said he is interested in getting a fresh coat of paint on railroad underpass bridges. Department of Public Works Director Tony Gugino said the “wing” areas of the structures could be painted by a community group but that the bridges should only be worked on only by the railroad companies.

• City Attorney Ron Szot said the most recent version of the contract for the Northern Chautauqua County Regional Water District has been sent to Council members.

“My understanding is that the county executive is seeking that all the municipalities approve that contract,” Szot said.

Dolce added that County Executive Vincent Horrigan has requested a meeting with Council members to discuss details of the water district contract.

• Gugino said two of the city’s three garbage trucks are not operational and the city is renting a packing truck from a private agency to keep up with the collections.

• Michael Civiletto invited Council members and other residents to the Citizens Advisory Committee meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in City Hall. He said topics to be discussed include rental properties and historic districts.