An overflow crowd of North East residents filled the room for Monday’s township supervisors meeting in an effort to voice their concerns over the fast approaching closure of the North East marina. The discussion began with presentations from Dan Lindsey and Jake Sander, followed by an explanation of the situation from the volunteer district representatives of the PA Fish and Boat Commission along with some history of how the marina came about from one of the original builders of the facility.
The current problems are as previously noted:
There is no electrical service in place since the wiring, when inspected by the commission last fall, was found to have damage that would require considerable repairs and upgrades, so the decision was made to remove the wiring completely. This was done before obtaining the necessary replacement materials which were then found to not be readily available and also determined to be extremely costly. The result is that the docks are without power for the upcoming season.
New requirements are now in place for the marina’s two necessary dredging operations.
The first is to remove sand that builds up on the west side of the marina and move it to the shoreline of properties east of the marina where it constantly washes away.
The second is to remove materials from the marina basin where it fills in and put it back in the lake outside the break wall.
This material in the basin had been simply pumped back over the wall, but now the PA Department of Environmental Protection requires any materials removed have to be tested before being returned to the lake and it requires a plot of land where it can be deposited while the water drains and the remaining sand or silt then either returned to the lake or moved to a landfill which substantially raises the cost and increases the complexity of the operation.
Since dredging to move sand to properties east of the marina is a repetitious and costly process, the question was asked if a more permanent solution, perhaps in the form of a break wall near those properties, might be better. The answer given was that the Army Corps of Engineers would not allow it.
Many other points were brought up during the course of the meeting, the fact that the marina is the base for the fire department’s search and rescue boat and Representative Jake Banta said even the border patrol uses the marina for its operations.
Although there were no decisions made to directly remedy the issues at hand, it was clear the North East community solidly supports the marina and Representative Banta said he would be contacting Senator Laughlin and he would also be looking into potential sources of funds to help defray some of the costs.
It was also said there would be an effort to get a one year extension on the current dredging permit to see if that could keep the facility in a usable state until a new arrangement could be made to deal with the new requirements from the DEP.
Representatives from the Fish and Boat Commission who could give more definitive answers to some of the questions raised may be available for the next supervisors meeting coming up April 3rd.
More information will be posted on this site as it becomes available.