HANOVER - Local Waterfront Revitalization Plans cannot come quickly enough for the town of Hanover.
Hanover was the 10th municipality to receive an LWRP presentation from Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corp. Director Kathy Tampio and Northern Chautauqua County Local Development Committee Chair Jay Warren.
Hanover as a community could benefit greatly from the types of projects as LWRP aids in retrieving funds for such things as harbor maintenance, tourism, flooding and erosion prevention and utilization of natural resources. However, according to the time line the process of completing a regional LWRP and submitting the projects for funding could take two years.
OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
A sign at the Hanover Boat Launch alerts boaters and fishermen to the fact the water level in Cattaraugus Creek is low. The Hanover Town Board is working to get funding to dredge the creek.
"I don't think we can wait," Hanover Supervisor Todd Johnson said.
During the town board's workshop, Highway Superintendent Steve D'Angelo said he has still been in contact with state Senator Catharine Young's office to try to find funding to dredge Cattaraugus Creek.
"Cathy is working really hard for us," he said.
However, he said he has not heard back from the Department of Conservation in four weeks about the project.
"We are sitting by waiting," he added.
D'Angelo said he asked residents Jim Tunney and Edward Schintzius to measure the depth of the creek recently.
Tunney reported deeper water than last year at the town boat launch but said he will measure the depth again after the snowmelt is finished running into the creek. He said the water level by the state boat launch is only four feet deep.
He said he has seen the original contract from the Army Corp of Engineers when the breakwall was installed and the Corp promised lifelong maintenance of the area in order for it to act as a safe harbor.
Johnson said this information was "very enlightening."
The town is going to attempt to contact the ACE about the agreement.
"We are going to try, but we won't hold our breath," Councilman Fritz Seegert said. "We definitely need to do something."
D'Angelo agreed. "Once the water drops we will be out of business. It is going to be a tough year and it's going to affect a lot of community businesses like gas stations, restaurants and bait shops," he said.
Johnson said the town is going to continue to seek funding for the project and look for other solutions.
"If we pass the resolution (for the LWRP) it will be two years before anything happens. At this point we need to work harder on our end with the DEC and Senator Young to secure funding. We may need to look at some smaller shortcuts. It all hinges on permits from the DEC and Army Corp of Engineers," he said.
A resolution of support for the LWRP would need to be passed before June 1, which would promise $2,000 in the 2014 budget year, and participation in the steering committee. The group would need to apply for funding for the plan by July and would hear by December if the project was funded. Then a consultant would be hired to put together a plan, listing high priority projects in each municipality. After this plan is approved by the Department of State, the municipalities projects would be submitted to the Regional Council for possible funding.
The board did not discuss whether it would participate in the LWRP. The next board meeting will be held on April 22.