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Katko Fair Haven

U.S. Rep. John Katko, second from left, surveys damage to the West Barrier Bar pier in Fair Haven Thursday. 

FAIR HAVEN — U.S. Rep. John Katko visited northern Cayuga County on Thursday to view the damaged West Barrier Bar pier and hear from the Army Corps of Engineers about plans for a temporary fix. 

A section of the break wall has separated from the pier and a portion of the concrete pier has collapsed. Orange netting is in place to prevent pedestrians from accessing the damaged area. 

The Army Corps of Engineers was notified in late February and conducted an initial damage assessment based on photos of the pier. The agency sent representatives to Fair Haven for a more extensive review in mid-March.  

Katko, R-Camillus, said he has been meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers in Washington to discuss the status of the project and the possibility of a temporary solution. He learned Thursday that the agency is moving forward with the temporary fix, which will include using straps to secure the sheet pile. The straps will be bolted in and brackets would be installed to prevent the wall from separating again. 

The Army Corps of Engineers told Katko that there is under $100,000 available for the project. Construction will begin this summer. 

"We've got a lot of work to do, but it's not going to get worse and that's very heartening to me," Katko said. 

Fair Haven Mayor Jim Basile, like Katko, is pleased with the progress. Basile contacted the Army Corps of Engineers when the damage was first discovered. 

"I think that the process moved fairly quickly, especially for government," Basile said. "The government tends to kick the can down the road constantly. They came out here and they made some observations and they realized that it was a situation that needed to be addressed immediately." 

While officials are hopeful the temporary solution will stabilize the pier, a permanent fix is needed. The main impediment to permanent repairs is money. The Army Corps of Engineers has a limited budget, so any permanent solution will need to wait until 2020. 

Basile is OK with that timeline. What he wants to avoid is the village having to wait longer for permanent repairs. 

Katko is optimistic the Army Corps of Engineers will have the necessary funding for a permanent fix. 

"We're working on that," he said. 

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Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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