Mayor Arthur G. Pappas joined Niagara County Legislator Rich Andres, North Tonawanda Director of Parks and Recreation Patty Brosius, as well as additional city and county officials for a groundbreaking ceremony in dedication of a new open-air bandshell in Raymond Klimek Veterans Park. The bandshell will replace the aging event stage purchased in 2003.
"I want to thank county Legislator Rich Andres for spearheading the effort in gaining the funds necessary for the new bandshell," Pappas said. "North Tonawanda has excellent representation in state, county and city government, and we continually work together in order to gain the necessary funding for these quality of life improvements for the city."
The bandshell, purchased at a cost of $89,836, was obtained with help from a grant provided by the Niagara River Greenway Commission in the amount of $90,000.
An additional $25,000 will be provided by the City of North Tonawanda, in kind, for additional improvements in the park, including $3,500 of electrical work, landscaping, installation and maintenance of shrubs and flowers, along with grass seeding. Additional storage facilities will also be featured.
Andres, chairman of the committee that oversees Niagara County Greenway allocations, said the bandshell would make a perfect fit for funding.
"North Tonawanda has a wonderful amount of waterfront parks and I am so excited this project will create yet another attraction to bring people to the waterfront," he said. "We are extremely fortunate to have such dedicated officials that put results ahead of politics, and I am happy to be a part of this effort. The view and the atmosphere will make this a truly special place to hear great music, in our great city."
Entertainment opportunities are already being considered, with at least eight easy-listening summer concerts possible, which would feature both easy-listening and big-band sounds, popular with residents and visiting senior citizens.
Special events are held in Raymond Klimek Veterans Park, as it is home to the U.S. Navy Seabees Monument, the U.S. Marines Corp. Monument and Robert Clark Purple Heart Monument.