Bill Geiben is taking a breath.
Technically, it's because he's setting his grandchild down. But it could just as easily be a sigh of relief that one of his final projects as mayor is about to come to fruition.
The Village of Lewiston directory is in its final stages with local artist Michael LaDuca of Buffalo's Luminus Media. The finished color map will display each of the municipality's retail stores, restaurants, historic markers and significant sites.
"The response from the businesses was extremely positive and enthusiastic," Geiben said. "It's going to be very successful."
Best of all, he said, the service maps "will not cost the village any taxpayer revenue." Ads, sold by the Sentinel, will offset the cost to design and print the directory, which will be located outside of the Piper Law Office Welcome Center at Academy Park, by the Little Yellow Artisan House and the Binational Peace Garden between Fifth and Fourth streets, and on the waterfront. The Modern Corporation will print the original signs and update the design annually, if necessary.
The directory, Geiben said, is self-sufficient. For tourists walking along Lewiston's main strip, "It should assist in their walking leisure of the village," he said.
Geiben, who left office last summer, is working with current Deputy Mayor Bruce Sutherland on the directory project.
At this point, about 50 ads have been purchased, netting almost $9,000 for the project. Those interested in purchasing one of the remaining spots are encouraged to contact LaDuca as soon as possible. Call 912-5962.
... Yes, that last paragraph was a shameless, self-promoting commercial. But, Left of Center will net zero dollars from this project. Not even a bologna sandwich.