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Army Corps of Engineers spending $650,000 to fix Barcelona break wall

February 19, 2016
Westfield Republican

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced Wed-nesday that the Army Corps of Engineers plans to spend approximately $650,000 in federal funds to repair damages to the Barcelona Harbor West's break wall in the town of Westfield.

Schumer noted the harbor's break wall was severely damaged in October 2015 by waters from Lake Erie. However, because this wall is the property of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it was the federal agency's responsibility to fix the wall. He said this is good news for the town and will allow local taxpayers to breathe a sigh of relief.

"It's tremendous news that the Army Corps has agreed to fix the broken break wall in the Barcelona Harbor. Without these emergency funds, the $500,000 that had been spent to dredge the harbor in 2014 would have been wasted, and sediment would have continued to seep back into the harbor. These emergency federal funds from the Army Corps will allow the town and county to breathe a sigh of relief - because it means further damage will not be done to the harbor," said Schumer. "Plain and simple: this is great news for the town of Westfield."

Schumer said it is critical these emergency repair funds were secured now because failure to fix the hole would allow sediment and other materials to enter the harbor from Lake Erie, undoing previous progress dredging has made. The Army Corps dredged the harbor in summer 2014 with Superstorm Sandy supplemental funding. If this mitigation funding had not been provided quickly, the harbor may have needed to be dredged again. Schumer called this fast relief good news for the town of Westfield.

"Barcelona Harbor is important to the quality of life and public safety of Chautauqua County," said Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan. "It is used by recreational boaters and fishers, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard, and is considered a safe haven harbor. It is timely and crucial that the break wall is repaired so as not to undo the dredging work that was recently completed. We appreciate Senator Schumer's advocacy to repair the break wall that protects this harbor, and appreciate his commitment to the citizens of Chautauqua County."

"The Army Corps was forced close the Barcelona Breakwater this past October, after it sustained serious storm damage," said Westfield Town Supervisor Martha Bills. "We did not know how or when the break wall would be repaired, but Senator Schumer stepped in to ask that the Army Corps provide emergency funding to repair the damage to the break wall, and we are thrilled that they have heeded his call."

Schumer noted that a storm on Oct. 29, 2015 produced high winds and crashing waves that damaged a portion of the Barcelona Harbor West Breakwater. Ever since, the breakwater has been closed to the public in order to keep residents safe. Schumer said these funds will allow the town to repair the wall and reopen it to the public once it is safe again.



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