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Army Corps advises hiring a contractor to dredge Sterling Harbor

11/22/2018 5:53 AM |

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is urging Greenport Village to hire a contractor to dredge Sterling Harbor rather than wait for the Corps or Suffolk County to do so, according to Village Mayor George Hubbard, who said the village will have to find the money for the project.

Mr. Hubbard said he met recently with representatives of the Army Corps and Congressman Lee Zeldin’s office on the subject of dredging the harbor, which some say is getting more shallow as it fills in with sand. The harbor was last dredged in 1986, officials say.

“They’re going to try to streamline the permit process to be able to get that done, instead of going back through the whole county dredging process,” Mr. Hubbard said at last Thursday’s Village Trustee work session.

“It’s their feeling that we’ll be able to do the dredging ourselves by hiring a contractor instead of getting on the county list, where we are, like, number 85 and it will take us 30 years before they can get to it.”

Mr. Hubbard said the Army Corps suggested the village seek a 10-year maintenance dredging permit. The last one the village had expired about 15 years ago and was never renewed, the mayor said.

The Army Corps said its not a big enough project for them to do, according to Mr. Hubbard. The job would entail digging eight to 10 feet and transferring the 2,400 cubic yards of dredged material to Sterling Point, near the marine monument. The project is expected to take a day and a half, he said.

“Getting the permit is the hard part,” Trustee Doug Roberts said.

Mr. Hubbard said the Army Corps would work with the village to streamline the permit process. He said the work could potentially begin by April 15.

“I’m glad that’s moving forward,” Trustee Mary Bess Phillips said.

“We’ve just got to find the money,” Mr. Hubbard said. “It’s such a small project that it would take forever to try and get the federal money. They are looking at all 50 states … New York City Harbor is going to get dredged before they think about this.”

The village is seeking proposals from private contractors, the mayor said.

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