WESTFIELD - It has been more than a decade since Barcelona Harbor has been dredged, but perseverance is finally paying off.
Rep. Tom Reed spent Monday night in Chautauqua County as he made his way from harbor to harbor seeing federal, state, county and town money well invested.
Assemblyman Andy Goodell, R-Jamestown, Town Supervisor Martha Bills, Chautauqua County Legislator George Borrello, R-Irving and Chautauqua County Watershed Coordinator David McCoy also accompanied Reed to Barcelona Harbor, where a meeting took place about the dredging project?Monday afternoon.
From left: Rep. Tom Reed, Assemblyman Andy Goodell, and Westfield Town Supervisor Martha Bills talk about the Barcelona Harbor dredging taking place during Monday afternoon’s meeting.
Photo by Jasmine Willis
"I am glad I voted for it, but even more glad to Martha and the rest of the town board here to make it a reality," Goodell said. "They went against the whole state to make sure their project happened. Martha and the harbor master stuck to it and did all the hard work."
Barcelona Harbor Master Kelly Brown said this was a long time coming.
"It takes them two hours to fill a bin and take it to the other side to dump," he said. "We want to get some sailboats back in here, but the water is too shallow for them right now. It is about three feet deep, and it needs to be about six feet for the sailboats."
"This is a great example of how partnership between federal and state and local government can accomplish more than any one entity can do alone," Goodell said. "This project is strongly supported by Congressman Reed. The ground work is done by Supervisor Bills, who was successful in getting the Army Corps of Engineers here, and $400,000 of funding to dredge the federal channel, which is the main channel in and out of the harbor. We have the state support of Sen. Catharine Young."
Borrello wanted it known Sen. Young played a key part in making this happen.
"She really came through for us," he said. "She got $100,000 for each harbor and was really instrumental in navigating the Department of Environmental Conservation to permit us to get this dredging done. She did a great amount of work in getting this achieved for all three harbors."
"We are excited to see first hand the dredging efforts," Reed said. "We are working together as a team and taking in local needs, which is a win win."
Reed announced he is very confident about the dredging process at all three harbors; Hanover (Cattaraugus Creek), Dunkirk (city pier), and Barcelona Harbor.
"I am enjoying our success today and we are working hand in hand," Reed said. "This is what it is all about. Folks are coming here to spend their dollar in our county."
Dredging should be done in about 45 days for Barcelona Harbor, and by the end of September for all three harbors.
Bills added she got a really good deal on the bidding process, and a lot more is being done than she thought.
"We got a better rate, because we all helped to make this happen," Borrello said of the big picture. "It helped fund the project that we were all willing to share the equipment. Each town contributes their share."
"This is a beautiful place to go and enjoy," Reed said. "It goes hand in hand with the vision to expand access to Lake Erie."
"Dredging will bring in sailboats," Borrello said. "The economic impact of commercial boating and fishing competitions are a huge. It also helps with flooding, so it helps with safety too."
"We take the occupancy tax to help fund this project," McCoy said. "It is great to see this happening. We have a great facility here and we need to maintain it."