Selectmen Kick-Start Process To Possibly Dredge Darien Harbor

DARIEN, CT — The Darien Board of Selectmen this week approved an appropriation of $26,500 to kick-start the process that could eventually lead to the dredging of Darien Harbor for the first time in over two decades.

Town Administrator Kate Buch said during this week’s regularly scheduled Board of Selectmen meeting the approval simply served as a way to get the permitting and testing process going. The meeting was held in person at Darien Town Hall and broadcast via Darien TV79.

“It doesn’t obligate us to actually do the dredging,” she said. The harbor was last dredged in 2001.

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The approval will cover the cost of a consultant to obtain necessary permits and sediment testing fees.

Through a study and subsequent testing, Zagrodzky said he hopes the town will learn whether or not the sediment in the area of the harbor is contaminated, and to what level. That will then determine if the material needs to be removed completely and disposed of, or moved out to deeper waters in Long Island Sound.

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“If it’s the latter where there’s no contamination, this is kind of a $300,000 problem,” Zagrodzky said. “If it is [contaminated] it has to be taken out, dewatered and shipped to a disposal site. That’s obviously going to be a lot more money.”

Buch said dredging would benefit boaters, and there would be no environmental issues if the harbor isn’t dredged.

“I think before the town commits to actually doing the dredging, we should investigate having the [Darien] Boat Club and the [Noroton] Yacht Club share in the cost,” Buch suggested.

Zagrodzky agreed and said the town would explore options for cost-sharing once the sediment test results come back and there’s an idea of what dredging would cost.

Watch Monday’s full Board of Selectmen meeting on Darien TV79.

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