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Coming Together To Benefit Barcelona Harbor

There is a lot of talk about the need for bipartisanship in Congress.

And while we struggle to come to agreement on major national issues like immigration reform, abortion and the environment, there are glimmers of ability to work across the aisle on matters of local interest.

That came to fruition earlier this week when Rep. Nick Langworthy, a former state Republican Party chairman who now represents Chautauqua County in Congress, and Sen. Charles Schumer, Senate majority leader, jointly announced $7.5 million in federal money to make repairs to the breakfall in Lake Erie’s Barcelona Harbor near Westfield. It’s worth noting as well County Executive PJ Wendel’s lobbying for the Westfield project and Schumer’s willingness to listen to Wendel’s request.

Wendel asked Schumer about the Barcelona breakwall during an announcement by Schumer last year in Dunkirk. The breakwall has fallen into disrepair in recent years, leading to a buildup of sediment that effectively blocked the harbor. Dredging last summer helped the situation temporarily, but breakwall repairs are needed to keep the sediment from building up again.

The Democrat senator and the Republican House members have gotten the money into the federal budget; now, they have to make sure it remains in the budget as lawmakers continue deliberations.

“There’s no secret we’re of different parties, but for Western New York and the Southern Tier, we will work hard every single day for jobs and a better future for our community. So thank you very much for that working relationship.”

Schumer and Langworthy have spent years firing shots at the other party. It’s part of politics. But it’s good to see a working relationship between the two that is benefitting a vital project for Chautauqua County. If only we could see the same movement on major national priorities.

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