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City backs dredging municipal Boat Basin

Five years after dredging Rye’s Boat Basin, city lawmakers are aiming to move forward with another plan to remove sediments around the marina, with bipartisan support from members on the City Council.

According to City Manager Marcus Serrano, the Boat Basin Commission has already hired a consultant to begin creating a sediment sampling plan that will help the city prepare a proposal.

The city manager said the sediment sampling and analysis plan, which is used to determine the total volume of sediment to be dredged and removed, will help the city figure out the logistics of its expected proposal and the estimated cost of the project.

The Rye Boat Basin Commission has hired a consultant to begin creating a sediment sampling and analysis plan for an upcoming proposal to dredge around the marina. The idea has earned bipartisan support from members of the Rye City Council and the city manager. File photo

Typically, dredging is used to excavate shallow seas or freshwater areas to rid them of broken down material and debris. The technique is used every couple of years to keep waterways navigable and creates a clear pathway for boats.

“At this point, we really don’t know how much the project is going to cost,” Serrano told the Review, explaining the estimation will rely on the results of the sediment sampling analysis, which could take until next fall to complete.

For that reason, the city manager said a dredging proposal will not be a part of the upcoming 2018 budget discussions, but it will likely be relevant for the following year.

“I can speak for the council and say we’re committed to ensuring that the marina remains viable for as long as possible, and that includes going forward with the dredging,” said Mayor Joe Sack, a Republican. “We’re not newcomers to the idea of dredging. We successfully dredged before and will successfully dredge again.”

The city has dredged on several occasions over the last decade, including most recently in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the most deadly and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, and the second-costliest one in U.S. history, as of press time, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Councilwoman Emily Hurd, a Democrat and liaison to the Boat Basin Commission, said she is “appreciative” of the mayor’s support for dredging the city-owned and -operated municipal marina, located at 650 Milton Road, which provides more than 400 numbered summer boat slips.

The Boat Basin, similar to the Rye Golf Club, was established as an enterprise fund, meaning it is responsible for all costs associated with the operation and maintenance of the facility so that it does not require subsidization from city taxpayers.

If the city decides to move forward with a proposal to dredge around the marina after completing its analysis, Serrano said the project would most likely begin in October 2019 and end in February 2020.

He added the city will apply for state and federal aid to help fund the project. “Where we are at right now, we’re looking at any avenue we can [to fund] the plan,” Serrano said.

Deputy Comptroller Joe Fazzino could not be reached for comment as of press time.

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