Dunkirk Harbor Commission looking to repair docks

Submitted Photo The docks near Memorial Park are falling apart and the Dunkirk Harbor Commission would like to see them torn off and replaced with a fishing platform.

The old fishing docks near Memorial Park are in terrible disarray and the Dunkirk Harbor Commission is looking to remedy that.

“I would like to see the possibility of turning that into a fishing platform for disabled people and for youth,” member Zen Olow stated at the commission’s February meeting. “If it’s feasible, I’d like to see a hoyer lift at the end of the dock to be able to lift people that are in wheelchairs onto charter boats and such.”

Olow talked a bit about the damage the docks are in and the dangers of them still being there. The last couple of years, he, as well as others have seen people walking out on the beams that stretch out into the lake. He cited that the platform over by the shuttered Niagara Mohawk is being used less now as there is no hot water runoff and people are now preferring to stay more downtown.

“The first thing that the city needs to do is block that off so that kids can’t climb over the pipes and get in there,” Olow said. “We have to find out ownership. Randy Woodbury (director of public works) said it’s city owned. I’m hearing different stories.

It seems like if Charles Pringle is the owner, he should be responsible for removing the planks, because right now the planks are going all over the place and there’s high water and winds.”

According to Olow, Woodbury along with Director of Planning and Development Rebecca Wurster, Chautauqua County Watershed Coordinator Dave McCoy and the New York State Department of Conservation fisheries is looking for fishing access onto Lake Erie, the DEC in particular is looking for anywhere that can have greater fishing access for.

“I know last year when we had Tom Reed here, he said the US Corps of Engineers could help out, but I don’t know if they’ll actually take the lumber off,” Olow added. “This way it’ll be more presentable and then we have to find out if it’s structurally sound enough to put a platform out there, but I think that we find out ownership and we can go from there. But we got to make it safe right now.”

Olow states that the dock has been going on for two years in the condition that it’s in.