port authority mire - what's a taxpayer to do?

Submitted by Susan Miller on Thu, 11/19/2009 - 09:29.

Mike Roberts peels back the cover on Port Authority mire.


November 18-24, 2009 by Michael D. Roberts

What can you do? Dike 14 lends a hand. Have you sent your comments to the Army Corps yet? Cause if you don't go on record, you'll be reaching deeper in your pocket to finance this boondoggle in the near future. Here's the information for your consideration.

Send comments to Army Corps by Monday, December 7, 2009 suggested comments & ADDRESSES below

Comments on the Draft DMMP/EIS for Cleveland Harbor must be received by the Army Corps by the end of the day on Monday, December 7, 2009.

The Army Corps’ Draft DMMP/EIS for Cleveland Harbor is online at http://www.lrb.usace.army.mil/missions/cleveland/index.html.  It is also housed at the Cleveland Public Main Library, 325 Superior Ave. and the Cleveland Public Addison Branch Library, 6901 Superior Ave.

DMMP/EIS = Dredged Material Management Plan & Environmental Impact Statement

In brief, the Army Corps’ Draft DMMP/EIS for Cleveland Harbor sets forth three alternative locations for constructing Cleveland’s next CDF and two concepts for each location. These alternatives are identified as: 

1)  “Site 2/2A” located at the West Breakwall near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River,

2)  “Site 3/3A” located at the East Breakwall near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, and

3)  “Site 4/4A” located at Cleveland’s recreational shoreline from East 55 St. to East 72 St., four to five miles east of the Cuyahoga River.

Throughout the Draft DMMP/EIS, the Army Corps states that “Site 4A” is the “tentatively selected CDF site” because that’s what the Port Authority wants.  

However, “Site 4A” - the “tentatively selected CDF site” - would:

a) impose excessive and ongoing costs to the citizens and taxpayers of Cuyahoga County and Ohio;

b) destroy the East 55th St. Cleveland Lakefront State Park & Marina;

c) environmentally, aesthetically, and functionally degrade all surrounding shoreline uses, including the Gordon Lakefront State Park, InterCity Yacht Club, Dike 14 Nature Preserve, the Lakefront bikeway and fishing access from East 55 to East 72 St., the residential complex of Quay 55 (a property that is on the National Register for Historic Places), and the private yacht clubs to the west of Quay 55; and

d) destroy more than 157 acres of protected waters for recreational boating within the U.S. East Breakwall.

Therefore, the Port’s wishes (in our researched opinion) should NOT be the determining factor in CDF site selection. On all counts, we conclude that “Site 2/2A” and “Site 3/3A” are far less damaging and costly than “Site 4/4A.”


Below are our suggested comments on the Draft DMMP/EIS that you may use verbatim (i.e. copy, paste, sign and send) or use to inspire your own comments to the Army Corps.  WE URGE EVERYONE TO SUBMIT COMMENTS TO THE ARMY CORPS!

E-mail your comments to:  Christine [dot] M [dot] Cardus [at] usace [dot] army [dot] mil or U.S. mail your comments to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ATTN: Christine M. Cardus, 1776 Niagara Street, Buffalo, New York  14207   

To:  Army Corps of Engineers

ATTN: Christine M. Cardus

1776 Niagara Street

Buffalo, New York  14207  


Subject:  Comments to Army Corps on the Draft DMMP/EIS for Cleveland Harbor

Dear Army Corps,

      I strongly object to the Army Corps’ "tentatively selected 157-acre CDF site at East 55th" identified as “Site 4/4A” for the following reasons:

       1)  Site 4/4A will destroy 157 acres of protected recreational Lake Erie waters within the U.S. East Breakwall, waters that surround our Cleveland Lakefront State Park and Marina at East 55th Street.  Such a huge loss of recreational waters will destroy and degrade recreational boating in Cleveland’s East Harbor and negatively impact the sailing clubs, public boat ramps, marinas, and yacht clubs. 

        2)  Site 4/4A will destroy public use and enjoyment of the East 55th St. Lakefront State Park even before it destroys public use and enjoyment of the State Marina, because the Park will be impacted by phase one of construction for Site 4/4A. The East 55th State Park is a small but vital urban lakefront park, where people can experience Lake Erie close up, with spectacular views, a great promenade, fishing access for recreational and subsistence fishing, and convenient and ample parking.

        3)  Site 4A is being constructed for and intended to be used by the Port Authority as an industrial port facility, which will ultimately destroy the East 55th St. State Marina and what's left of the State Park, and destroy the recreational shoreline from Burke Airport to the Village of Bratenahl.  This CDF/industrial use will destroy the entire East 55th St. Lakefront State Park & Marina, the 157 acres of protected recreational waters within the East Breakwall, as well as the beautiful views of Lake Erie.  It will also significantly and negatively impact Dike 14 Nature Preserve, InterCity Yacht Club, Gordon Lakefront State Park, Quay 55 residential complex (a property that is on the National Register of Historic Places), and private yacht clubs to the west of Quay 55, as well as destroy the Lakefront bikeway and fishing access between East 55th and East 72nd Street.

         4) While Site 4A is the Corps’ “tentatively selected CDF site” because of its designated “industrial port" end use, the DMMP/EIS fails to provide any evaluation of the environmental impact of an industrial facility on surrounding properties and uses, both on land and water, and to the water and air quality. The document does not address any of the significant and negative environmental, social, economic and cultural impacts of an industrial end use. And further the document fails to consider the full public costs of imposing an oversized CDF and an industrial end use on the recreational district from Burke to Bratenahl.  

          5)  The DMMP/EIS fails to reveal or consider the many hidden public costs of Site 4A, which include:  (a) the cost of constructing special outer structural walls of the CDF for future industrial port use; (b) the annual cost of filling the CDF, and the added cost of hauling dredgings from the 6.5 mile Cuyahoga Ship Channel to a CDF site that is 4 to 5 miles east of the mouth of the Cuyahoga; (c) the annual costs for dredging the 5-mile East Harbor channel, made necessary by the industrial port end use; (d) the costs for constructing a 2,000-foot extension to the U.S. East Breakwall to protect the CDF and/or the industrial port facility from damage caused by wave action; (e) the costs for infrastructure and construction of an industrial port facility; (f) the costs for building a railroad bridge over I-90; (g) the costs for building new roadways and highway access ramps; (h) the costs for filling in the 43-acre East 55th Marina; (i) the costs for building a replacement State Marina; (j) the costs for relocating the InterCity Yacht Club and the Gordon Lakefront State Park fishing piers and public boat ramps, and (k) the costs for building vast parking areas. Such costs to taxpayers would be excessive and unfair, and all such projects would be to the detriment of Cleveland’s east side recreational Lakefront.

          6)  Site 4A totally contradicts the Cleveland Waterfront District Plan of 2004, and all agreements and plans (from 1946 to 2004) by the State of Ohio and the City of Cleveland, which have consistently pledged to protect, preserve and enhance Cleveland’s near east side recreational Lakefront, specifically the East 55th St. Lakefront State Park & Marina and the Gordon Lakefront State Park.

           Therefore, as a citizen and taxpayer, I request that the Army Corps discard “Site 4/4A” and select instead “Site 2/2A” for Cleveland’s new CDF, as is depicted in the DMMP/EIS and on the Cleveland Waterfront District Plan of December 2004.




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