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Town Board discusses dredging Wading River Creek

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio amended the Riverhead Town Board work session agenda Thursday morning to include an item for dredging of Wading River Creek.

There is money allocated for the work, which would cost about $123,000, according to Ms. Giglio. The area needs to be surveyed prior to dredging, which would cost about $6,800, in order for the creek to be dredged in October.

Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said the creek was dredged last year, and filled up very shortly after.

“The dredging that was done, wasn’t really effective,” she said.

Ms. Giglio said she had been asking for this topic to be put on the agenda since June 21, but it had yet to appear.

Ms. Jens-Smith said she has been in contact with Congressman Lee Zeldin, who is speaking with the Army Corps of Engineers to find a permanent solution.

Ms. Giglio said that the Wading River fire chief is requesting the creek be dredged as soon as possible so they can perform rescues when necessary. Chief Kevin McQueeney did not return a request for comment in time for publication.

Ms. Jens-Smith was adamant in waiting for the Army Corps of Engineers’ recommendation, which she said should be in a few weeks, so money is not wasted dredging the creek at a time where it would not be cost effective.

“If we’re going to spend money dredging the creek, I think it should be done at a time of year when it is effective and also done in a manner where there will be some sort of plan for sustainability moving forward,” Ms. Jens-Smith said.

“You can’t dictate when the dredge can occur,” Ms. Giglio responded. “Because it’s in the permit from the Army Corps of Engineers and the New York State DEC.”

Ms. Jens-Smith said she would contact the Wading River Fire Department about their needs.

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