City seeks reimbursement for marina cleanup

The city of Dunkirk is suing a slew of defendants in State Supreme Court to recover the cost of removing two petroleum tanks near the pier.

The suit, filed by Buffalo attorneys Colligan Law LLC on April 21 in Buffalo, names Metal Craft Co., Ryan Marine Services, Donald J. Ryan, Richard W. Ryan, Huntington Bancshares Incorporatted, Lake City Ice and Fuel, Chadwick Bay Marina Holdings, Inc. and Chadwick Bay Marina, LP as defendants.

The action seeks $131,497.56, plus court costs and attorneys’ fees, to reimburse the city for removal of the tanks on a property that includes 30 Central Avenue and 5 Lake Shore Drive East.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation oversaw removal of the tanks in 2013, and Dunkirk agreed to reimburse it for the work in 2019.

“Dunkirk never operated the marina, nor did it install, maintain or refill the tanks on the Subject Property,” the lawsuit states. “Dunkirk has incurred substantial costs and attorneys’ fees, despite not placing the storage tanks on the Subject Property.”

See MARINA, Page A6

The court document provides some history of the property. It was used by Lake City from about 1931 to about 1947 to create asphalt, then became a gas station until about 1964. In 1985, Dunkirk took the property by eminent domain and made a contract with Metal Craft to develop Chadwick Bay Marina. In 1999, the city agreed to transfer the lease from Metal Craft to the Ryans.

The city and Donald Ryan made in agreement in 2006 to accommodate the Boardwalk Market. A consultant hired to do a soil investigation of the property found contamination in 2011. The DEC helped clean that up.

A further investigation in 2013 found the buried gas tanks. A contractor removed the tanks at DEC’s direction and the site was cleared in 2014.

“Defendants failed to disclose to Dunkirk the existence of two storage tanks upon the Subject Property… (and) the dilapidated nature and leaking condition of said storage tanks,” the court filing states. It goes on to say that the defendants were legally obligated to report and test, or remove, the tanks, but did not do any of that.


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