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Fact Sheet

The Bennett Creek dredge project, as defined in the October 17, 1991 Local Cooperation Agreement (LCA) between the City of Suffolk and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District consists of the 1992 construction and the ongoing maintenance of a 60 foot wide (bottom width), 6 feet deep channel from the 6 feet contour in the Nansemond River to the contour within the mouth of Bennett Creek.  The project area extends inside the creek to the city boat ramp at Bennett's Creek Park; however no dredging has been required in this segment.

Maintenance of the project, per the LCA, involves the removal of approximately 38,000 cubic yards of mostly silt and clay materials, approximately once every 5 years over a 50-year project life.  

FOBC attempts to monitor the condition of the Bennett Creek channel unofficially through normal use.  When conditions deteriorate, FOBC contacts the Army Corps of Engineers and request surveys be scheduled. The Army Corps of Engineers informs the City of Suffolk of the channel condition.  Funding must be voted on and secured by the Corps and the City of Suffolk.  Dredging contracts are sent out and scheduled. 

The need for the next dredge can not be predicted accurately as the rate of shoaling is dependent on weather and tidal conditions. (e.g. storms, north easters, etc.)  However we do know that the the need for a dredge occurs "about" every three years. The navigational condition of the Bennett Creek entranceway can be viewed on our Survey link.  The Army Corps of Engineers will inform the City of Suffolk and the FOBC when it is time to dredge again based on water depth surveys.  

The 50 year LCA between the City of Suffolk and the Army Corps of Engineers dictates the  Corps assume 60% of the cost of the dredge and the City of Suffolk to fund the remaining 40%.  The City of Suffolk's 2002 CIP (Capital Improvement Plans) for fiscal years 2001-2002 through 2010-2011 has slated $250,000 for a dredge in fiscal year 2004/2005, $100,000 in FY 2007/2008 and $100,000 in FY 2010/2011. (This information is repeated in the 2003 CIP). The CIP is a 10 year forecast of the city proposed spending based on the current economic forecast.  This funding is located on pages 36, 37 and 39 of the 2002 CIP, under Public Works.  The actual Operating Budget (OB) must be voted on and approved annually.  Thus  funding for the 2004/2005 dredge operation has been proposed but has not (and can not) be secured yet.  These budgets and plans can be viewed on the City of Suffolk web site, under their Government link. When the need for a dredge is made known and it does not coincide with the budget approval process, emergency funding must be secured.  The emergency funding method was used for the 1997, 2001 and 2003 dredges.