SALISBURY – Funding has been aligned to have the remainder of the Nanticoke Harbor repairs completed by next spring.

This week the Wicomico County Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing County Executive Rick Pollitt to accept a grant award from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Program Open Space in the amount of $115,000 and an additional grant award from the Maryland Waterway Improvement Fund in the amount of $35,000.

According to the resolution, the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism desires to repair the bulkhead and catwalks at the Nanticoke Harbor. The harbor bulkhead repair project was approved in the fiscal year 2013 Capital Improvement Program (FY13 CIP) for a total cost of $130,000 to be funded with the expectation that 50 percent of the funding will be provided by the state.

In the Annual Operating Budget of fiscal year 2013, the county appropriated $65,000 toward the Nanticoke Harbor bulkhead repair project for the local contribution. However, the total project cost has grown and is now estimated to be $360,000.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources through Program Open Space administers funds made available to local communities for open space and recreational uses. The Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism submitted an application for Program Open Space funds and have been awarded a grant in the amount of $115,000 to repair the bulkhead and catwalks at the harbor.

The department is required to provide a $12,778 match to this grant award and will be transferring that amount from the Nanticoke Harbor escrow account.

The department has also submitted an application for waterway improvement funds and has been awarded a grant in the amount of $100,000, which was greater than the $65,000 requested in the application and approved in the FY13 CIP.

The Waterway Improvement grant requires a 100-percent match and with $65,000 having been appropriated in FY13 an additional $35,000 will be transferred from the Nanticoke Harbor escrow account to fund the full $100,000 match.

The remaining needed local contribution in the amount of little over $32,000 will be transferred from the escrow account.

“We have mixed a lot of grant money to address a serious problem at the Nanticoke Harbor in the bulkhead surrounding it. It’s on its last legs and any breach would create quite a problem for us that would require more dredging,” Recreation, Park and Tourism Director Gary Mackes said.

According to Mackes, upon the County Council’s approval of the grant funds, the bid process to start the project will begin. The work will take place at the conclusion of the summer season in November and is projected to be completed by the beginning of March.

“What we will be able to do with this money is complete the restoration of Nanticoke Harbor. It will take care of the south side, as well as the east side of the harbor…all the rest has been restored,” Mackes said. “The beautiful piece to this is in using Open Space we are able to save from using all the escrow funds the harbor has saved up over the years. There is about $30,000 to $35,000 left when this is all said and done as a corner stone to help build that escrow fund when we need to take care of other issues but this gives us about 35 to 40 years to do that, so we are in a good position.”