By Dave O'Connor
WESTFIELD-Dredging Barcelona Harbor, last done in 1999, is planned for May 2014, according to Town of Westfield Supervisor Martha Bills. Bills told the town board that at least part of the work will be funded with federal money set aside to repair damage caused in the fall of 2012 by Superstorm Sandy.
The US Army Corps of Engineers will dredge the entrance channel to the harbor according to Bills, who said she was so informed while attending a meeting about Lake Erie Tuesday at Hanover Town Hall. The Corps hopes to begin work on or around May 15, 2014, Bills said.
She revealed the entrance channel has become so shallow in places that two large sail boats were unable to enter Barcelona Harbor the week of July 1 but gave no other details.
Keeping the channel navigable is the responsibility of the federal government, Bills said. She told the board that the town could take advantage of the channel project by using the required dredging equipment to deepen other parts of the harbor. Moving the dredging equipment is a large part of the expense of such work, and the town can thus save money, she asserted, by scheduling local work to coincide with the channel project.
During the business session the board unanimously approved spending $42,336 as part of the cost of a new salt shelter at 118 Chestnut St. Hybrid Building Solutions, picked from three bidders, will provide a Quonset-like structure providing about 3,200 square feet of protection. Highway Superintendent Dave Babcock said the shelter will be very similar to the one on Steele Street in Jamestown, also the work of Hybrid Building Solutions.
Approval of the shelter was made contingent on using money from the state's Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program or "CHIPS" to pay for part of the project.
Babcock, following the board meeting, said he expects bids shortly on labor for the portion of the shelter made of concrete.
A Special Use Permit allowing Mei Lu to operate a "flea market" on her Sherman Road property was unanimously approved following a five-minute public hearing at which only the applicant's husband appeared. The permit application was reviewed and approved by the town planning board June 12.
Town Code Enforcement Officer Jim Pacanowski was asked about the remains of a structure at McKinley Road and Route 5, which was gutted by a gas explosion and resulting fire this spring.
"We're working on it, trying to get the owner to clean up the mess," Pacanowski responded.
Following the regular meeting, the board went into executive session, which is closed to the public. The session was called to discuss pending litigation, according to Bills.