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Seed money planted, Klein advocates for it in FY 2016 budget

Hammond Cove close to getting $1 million dredge

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How deep will they go - whatever $1 million will buy these days.

Hammond Cove, the Throggs Neck boating destination that often is too silted up to have some crafts pass through it at low tide, may receive the allocation from Senator Jeff Klein in the upcoming state fiscal year 2016 budget.

The allocation, which still has to be approved in the final budget by Governor Cuomo, would be enough, or close to enough, to dredge a bottleneck through the cove, which is near a docking location for Fire Department boats during emergency and rescue operations, sources said.

If the funds are not enough to completely dredge this bottlenecked area, Klein will look to partner with other agencies: possibly New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Parks Department, or the state Assembly for example, said a Klein spokeswoman.

“As a long-standing priority for the community board and the residents of Locust Point and Schuyler Hill, I am working to ensure that dredging on Hammond Cove begins as soon as possible,” said the senator. “Today, I stand ready and willing to commit $1 million to this project and continue to work regularly with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the City of New York to develop and implement a work plan that meets the needs of the community.”

Dredging the Long Island Sound inlet was again the top capital project budget request for Community Board 10 in the latest city budget process, and it has been on the surrounding communities’ wish list for years.

Klein had already provided the seed money for soil tests near the location that would be dredged, said Kenneth Kearns, CB 10 district manager.

“It is pretty capital intensive,” said Kearns of dredging, adding that the excavation debris usually has to be carted off to a landfill.

Kearns has said in the past that dredging Hammond Cove would likely benefit the city-owned concession – the Hammonds Cove Marina, currently operating there.

The area to be dredged is adjacent to the Locust Point Yacht Club, said a Klein spokeswoman.

At the club, member Pat Devine has been sounding an alarm because not only are recreation vessels having a difficult time getting in and out of the cove at low tide, so are FDNY boats, which could not reach a shoreline fire a while back, he said.

“My main concern has always been safety,” said Devine.

Devine confirmed that the Department of Environmental Conservation came to the club last month and took soil samples, and that this development was one that Klein helped facilitate with Department of Environmental Conservation.

“DEC had a meeting with the Fire Department and are going to buy what the FDNY needs to get in there,” said Devine, reporting what he has heard.

In May 2014, the Fire Department informed the LPYC in a letter that its boats were having trouble docking at ‘moon’ or low tide.

“There may be times that our vessels will not be able to enter the cove to operate in this area,” stated the FDNY letter. “Considering the number and density of structures and vessels in Locust Point, it is recommended that the depth of the water in Hammond Cove be improved to ensure access.”

The FDNY uses LPYC to transfer patients to ambulances so they can be taken to nearby hospitals, said Devine.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
Posted 12:00 am, March 22, 2015
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