North East community members are doing everything they can to prevent the marina from going under.
“Things have to change for that marina in order for it to survive,” said Dave Jelly, designer of North East Marina in 1985.
The North East Marina is facing a mountain of problems that could prevent it from being operational this year.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) claimed that infrastructure repairs and upkeep will cost a pretty penny. Some say it wasn’t maintained well enough by the commission.
“The infrastructure costs that you saw in the excerpt that the fish and boat commission created was $15 million. It has been a while and a long time coming,” said Ed Mascharka, former PFBC commissioner.
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is requiring new dredging standards and claims that some materials dug up during the process need to be disposed of in new ways — but it has never presented a problem for wildlife in the past.
Now the marina doesn’t have proper permits to operate at all, but they’re working on a compromise.
“The commission is working with the core, working with the DEP, to as quickly as possible come up with a plan and find a way to dredge it at least this year to open it up for the slip holders and to keep the public dock open,” said Commissioner Dan Pastore, PFBC, District 1.
Pennsylvania state Representative Jake Banta said that the words of North East residents have swayed him. His next steps? Taking it straight to Harrisburg.
While it’s not a simple process, Banta hopes to find a means to secure funding for the marina after hearing the pleas of the community.
“You guys know well better than me the reasons that this should stay open. So the mission is — find the finances, and deregulate some of this, or get the DEP to ease off a little bit so we can get things done,” said state Rep. Jake Banta, 4th District.
Pastore said that the fish and boat commission’s engineers will be meeting with the DEP on-site this week.