by Alicia Wainwright
At the Youngstown Village Board of Trustees meeting on May 24, the executive director at Fort Niagara, Bob Emerson, started things off by bringing everybody up to date with what's going on at OFN this summer.
A couple of events have already passed since the meeting. "Soldiers Through the Ages," which occurred the weekend of May 26, was a military timeline event. Visitors saw "everything from the French and Indian War through the second World War in terms of military vehicles and re-enactors, etc.," Emerson explained.
On Memorial Day, the Youngstown Veterans of Foreign Wars Lake Ontario Post 313 held a service in memory of fallen veterans at the War of 1812 cemetery.
An entire day of events is planned for June 16 to commemorate the declaration of war on June 18, 1812. The day starts off with a flag-raising ceremony followed by a musket salute at 10 a.m.
Emerson pointed out the dedication of a new Betsy Doyle Exhibit Panel is happening that day as well. Doyle became a War of 1812 heroine after carrying scorching cannonballs to gunners at Fort Niagara during November of 1812.
Fort Niagara's French and Indian War Encampment will be July 6 through 8. A Revolutionary War event, "Soldiers of the Revolution," will be held in August. And the War of 1812 Encampment will be Labor Day weekend.
Also in September will be a free concert with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps bands.
"We're going to be inviting the whole community to come out," Emerson said. This event will be on Friday, Sept. 14. It will start at 6 p.m.
Emerson explained how the director of the Navy came to Youngstown to visit Fort Niagara, "He loved the fort; thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread; and we're going to have some admirals there and, possibly - and I only say possibly - the secretary of the Navy will be there."
The concert will be held in conjunction with Navy Week, which is going on in Buffalo.
For the first time in the fort's history, there will be an American impression. This means that people who come this summer will see War of 1812 soldiers dressed in U.S. uniforms, which is "something new for us," Emerson said.
He went on to describe efforts Fort Niagara is taking to drive business into Youngstown.
"Right now, we have about 1,200 re-enactors a year come to the fort. We we're sending them, in advance, registration materials," Emerson said. "We're listing restaurants in Youngstown in those materials so, before they come to town, they know what places to eat in town and what their hours are, and sort of a brief menu."
These restaurant listings also will be included in the registration materials re-enactors pick up at the site. On the fort's website, on its special events page right after the calendar of events, is a directory of where to eat locally.
"Our objective is to try to get people to the fort and then have them stay around town for a few more hours before they leave, because this is the gem of the county. We want them to stay here in this area," Emerson said.
•The board meeting agenda included a resolution to authorize the collection of taxes. Village Clerk Treasurer Barbara Castilon received the tax roll and warrant for the collection of taxes for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Taxes will be collected at the Village Office, at 240 Lockport St., each Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. though 3:30 p.m. (June 1 through July 2).
During the period of June 1 through July 2, taxes may be paid without additional charges. To all taxes remaining unpaid after July 2, 5 percent will be added through July 31, and 1 percent will be added thereafter. Any unpaid taxes at the close of business on Oct. 31 will be turned over to Niagara County for collection.
Also on the agenda:
•Authorization to amend the 2011-12 budget, to increase revenue code A1090 by $629.01 due to an increase of tax penalties collected.
•Authorization for Mayor Raleigh Reynolds to sign the village tax warrant for 2012-13.