By Lauren Zaepfel
The Town of Niagara Town Board is working toward obtaining funds for a memorial in Veterans Memorial Community Park.
The board voted to authorize Supervisor Lee S. Wallace to submit an application to the Niagara River Greenway Commission, the Niagara Power Coalition and the Host Community Standing Committee for approximately $340,000 in funding to go toward the cost of the Veterans Memorial project.
"The money that we spend on projects of this nature ... is not taxpayer dollars. It does not cost the Town of Niagara one dime," Wallace said.
He added the memorial would be "a beautiful addition to the park. There is a small memorial that we have currently over at the Veterans Heights area, but that is not a monument for all veterans. Those individual monuments there are actually named after certain individuals, and we felt it was time to do something that was for all branches and for all of our veterans moving forward."
The board also voted to seek bids on the construction of eight baseball team dugouts for Veterans Memorial Community Park.
Funds sought for Weber property plans
Wallace, with the approval of the board, will also apply for $43,000 from the Greenway Commission, the Niagara Power Coalition and the Host Community Standing Committee to help fund the first phase of the habitat restoration and flood management plan for the Weber property.
"It's really administrative," Wallace said. He added, "Riverkeeper had been funding a lot of the money for this and so they've done a lot of legwork. They got the consistency, they got the grant for us - the $100,000 grant, they got a consistency vote from the Greenway already for the whole project. And so it's our paying part of the upfront administrative fees."
Wallace explained that, when the subdivision was built on the property, the creek was rerouted and narrowed. Now, "When we get a real heavy flood, it just spills over," he said. "So we're going to try and let it go back to its natural state and use that whole area as ... a gigantic retention pond, only a naturalized retention pond."
New firemen welcomed to Niagara Active Hose
New members of the Niagara Active Hose Fire Co. were welcomed by the board. Jeff Nowak, Steven Jasper and Clayton Oxford were granted approval to join the volunteer team.
Nowak was in attendance during the board meeting and was acknowledged by Wallace and the other board members.
"I have to commend you for volunteering your time to serve our community," Wallace said. "We really appreciate it, and what you do does not go unnoticed."
Deputy Supervisor Charles F. Teixeira said, "I want to thank all our volunteer firemen and the young gentleman here that's (joined us) today. Thank you for your service. We are very blessed in this community to have the air base over here and a fairly safe border near Canada. The fire company is doing something right, because it seems like every other month they are bringing in new members to serve the community."
In other news
•The board approved an inter-municipal cooperation agreement between the Town of Niagara and the Niagara Falls Water Board to help with the Belden Center improvement project.
Wallace said project engineer Jason Havens of Clark Patterson Lee approached the Niagara Falls Water Board and said, "You know, since this project is in our district ... maybe you want to help us out? And they agreed."
•Councilman Sam Gatto was appointed as the Town Board liaison for the Town of Niagara Courts.
•Councilman Richard Sirianni was appointed as the Town Board liaison for Niagara Active Hose Fire Co.
•The board also appointed Stephen Roberts as superintendent of water and sewer maintenance.
•The final site plan was approved for a 5,266-square-foot addition to add another chapel and more office space to M.J. Colucci & Son Funeral Chapel located at 2730 Military Road.
•Councilman Marc M. Carpenter said the board has discussed converting to LED lighting in the town. "We're wanting to be ahead of the curve with LED lighting," Carpenter said. "We do have it in our park. So that's something to look forward to in the future."
Wallace said, "One of our problems that we have in our town ... is that we don't own the poles, National Grid does. So for us to make the conversion, we have to enter into an agreement with them."
He added, "What would happen is, it would be a cost factor up front, but it would pay for itself in three years. The difference in the LED light compared to incandescent, or whatever we have now, is significant in the energy we would use. We have to sometimes think long-term."
Carpenter said, "The LED lighting will definitely pay for itself after a few years, and the LED lighting, if you're familiar with it, when you go over (the) Grand Island bridge ... it's a lot brighter."