Residents react to Downe Twp dredging project -

Residents react to Downe Twp dredging project

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DOWNE TWP. - The dredging project in Downe Township, is receiving mixed reviews.

"It stopped a lot of people from going fishing and enjoying the Delaware bay," says Downe Township resident Kathy Weisenburg.

Weisenburg is referring to the need for a dredging project in the waters around Fortescue, and now that it's nearly complete, the results aren't quite what she was expecting.

"Personally, I'm a little disappointed. It took a long time for it to happen, we were told it would happen in July, but it didn't happen until the end of September," explains Weisenburg.

Along with the delays in starting the project, residents are also frustrated with the location of the sand after it is removed.

"They really didn't put the sand to far away from the mouth of the creek, so we had a lot of high tides recently and its going right back into the water," claims Weisenburg.

Weisenburg, who also is part owner and webmaster for the Miss Fortescue Charter Boat, says that the company is losing money due to the channel not being fully dredged, and that they have to plan around the high tide, so that they won't get stuck.

"The Miss Fortescue boat, has gone out since the dredging project has been finished, and we actually hit bottom already," says Weisenburg.

But Downe Township Mayor Robert Campbell says, that the project is only about 80 percent complete, and more dredging is expected to come.

"We have the project about 80 percent complete, the channels open, the fishermen and charter boats can get in and out without a problem," explains the Mayor. "We have a couple little tiny spots we have to tweak to finish it up, but the whole project was a success," the mayor continues.

According to Mayor Campbell, the dredging project is only phase one.

"Phase two is a long term eminence project. its probably going to be a couple million dollar project, and that includes dredging the channel all the way from the marina to a couple hundred feet off the river channel," explains the mayor.

As for business owners like Weisenburg, who is currently feeling the pinch of losing business, has to sit back and take a wait and see approach.

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