The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

August 30, 2013

Ashtabula River dredging to begin soon

ASHTABULA — City Council approved two ordinances Thursday morning, allowing the dredging of the Ashtabula River, north of West 24th Street, to start immediately.

Mother Nature has pushed sand into Brockway Mrina’s south side and filled it to where the water is only 1 1/2-feet deep in spots, City Manager Jim Timonere said. Navigating at night is particularly dangerous.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Watercraft, Recreational Harbor Evaluation Program, approved the city’s request for a grant to dredge 10,000 cubic yards from the river, north of West 24th Street, he said.

Geo. Gradel Co. from

Toledo submitted the lowest responsible bid, he said. Council unanimously awarded the project to the company.

The city will receive a total of $140,000 — $70,000 from ODNR and $70,000 from local businesses and individuals, including the Community Development Corp. ($20,000), Brockway Marina ($20,000), Tom Nelson of ARU Marina ($15,000), Ashtabula County Port Authority ($5,000), City Port Authority ($5,000) and Ashtabula City ($5,000).

Project Administrator Mary Church wrote the grant.

“We hope to have the dredging done by Sept. 15 because then the fish start spawning,” Timonere said. “The project will take three to four days of dredging.”

The dredged sand will be taken out into the open water of the lake and dumped, he said, noting there are no contaminates in this sand or water.

The Brockways attended Thursday’s meeting and thanked council for their work.

Timonere said State Rep. John Patterson, D-Jefferson, also worked hard to help Ashtabula get this grant.

Ward 2 Councilman August Pugliese said, “This has been a long time coming. I hope this will solve that ice build-up problem.”

The Brockways said they will have to move docks and boats before dredging begins, but they are happy to do it.

Once the dredging is complete, nearly all of the Ashtabula River will be dredged, giving a boost to recreational boating and tourism in Ashtabula.

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