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May 14, 2014

Dock cleanup at Jeffersonville marina to continue soon

Rainy days, high tides delayed work

JEFFERSONVILLE — Spring weather has delayed dock cleanup — and added to the workload — at the Jeffersonville marina site while the city waits for the OK to revamp the area.

Parks and Recreation Director Paul Northam said crews began tearing down the dilapidated docks about a month ago but stopped when heavy rains caused the river to rise and diverted the parks department’s attention to other tasks.

“It’s spring and everything’s starting to grow, so we’re just trying to keep up with all the mowing and some of the other maintenance issues,” Northam said.

In the meantime, debris from a higher river level has gathered around what is left of the docks, adding more work for the cleanup crew.

“We just haven’t had a chance to get down there and clean it up,” Northam said.

Northam expects debris removal to begin in the next couple of days when the rain clears up and dock removal to resume in the next couple of weeks.

The city can’t move forward with plans to build an entirely new downtown marina, including 64 boat slips and a fishing pier, until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers grants Jeffersonville a permit. The corps ensures that projects along the nation’s bodies of water protect natural resources and are conducted in a responsible manner.

Northam said that he estimates the corps will grant the permit in about 45 days, as it only has a few more final things to check. In about 90 days, the city can select a contractor for the project, he said.

The request for the permit was submitted nearly a year ago for the marina project, and it’s taken longer than usual because the corps has to make sure plans don’t interfere with the historic district’s preservation guidelines.

Until then, the corps has allowed the city to remove the old docks to ready the site for construction.

Jorge Lanz, president of Jacobi Toomz and Lanz, Inc. that is engineering the construction, said the project should take about five months from start to finish.

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