By Joshua Maloni
Lewiston residents may soon have a new place to properly discard their flags.
At Tuesday’s monthly Village Board meeting, Alex Vanderlip updated trustees on his intent to finance and oversee installation of a waterproof, locked drop box at the Red Brick. The container – about the size of the mailbox already in place along the driveway – would hold up to 50 flags until they can be properly burned.
“My plan is that I would like to have a flag retirement collection box outside the building here,” Vanderlip said.
The Town of Lewiston youth and member of Troop 855 said he will reach out to Veterans of Foreign Wars Downriver Post 7487 to discuss a yearly flag disposal ceremony.
Vanderlip said he plans to hold a fundraiser to secure $1,800 (plus shipping) to purchase the box, which was pictured with an American flag wrap in handouts given to trustees.
A Lewiston Boy Scout has proposed adding a flag disposal storage box outside of the Red Brick Municipal Building, in this general area.
Department of Public Works Superintendent Larry Wills said his team would provide a concrete base for the station.
Mayor Anne Welch said, “This is great. This looks really, really nice.”
She added, “We were down at the DPW garage today, and I looked and here’s a whole bunch of flags that need to be retired. Larry said he was just waiting to be able to dispose of them properly. So, there is definitely a need that we can see. And I know people like to bring them and dispose of them properly.
“This is a great idea. And it’s very nice that you could step up to do something like this.”
Deputy Mayor Vic Eydt has been discussing this project with Vanderlip. Both Eydt and Wills said the clerk’s office would need a key to the box, in case any mail accidentally winds up among the flags.
Trustee Tina Coppins provided Vanderlip with information on the VFW’s next meeting.
Eydt said, “At one time, years ago, they used to bring (flags) once a year and they’d have a retirement ceremony. They’d bring kids from Lew-Port – they’d bring a couple buses of kids from Lew-Port – and after that, they’d have like a little luncheon. I don’t know if they still want to do that. … I think they’d be interested in doing something like this.”
Vanderlip said, “I’m going to talk to the VFW and then, if they approve of the idea, I just have to do my proposal with the (Eagle Scout) committee. And then, if all that works out, then I can start on the project and actually get it going.”
Board members approved a motion to have the box installed, pending Vanderlip finding a partner like the VFW to retire the flags.
Welch said, “It’s great for our residents to know that they have a place to come to drop them off.”
Following the vote, audience members gave Vanderlip a round of applause.
Pictured is what 125 S. First St. looks like now – and renderings of what it will look like when fully built, as designed by Giusiana Architects & Engineer.
Work Underway at Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours Storage Site
The building at 125 S. First St., in the Village of Lewiston, was recently demolished. A new foundation was poured and, this week, the Board of Trustees approved proposed revisions to the façade.
John Kinney acquired the property and plans to use it in two ways: As four upper-level living units facing the Niagara River; and as a ground-level storage site for Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours and 65 Center St., which he also owns.
Trustees approved, with regret, the resignation of Al Soluri from the Zoning Board of Appeals. They cited his many years of service to the village, where he served myriad roles across all boards.
“He’s been instrumental in taking care of the village over the years,” Welch said. “We just want to thank him for his service.”
James Spanbauer was appointed to fill Soluri’s unexpired term, until 2024.
Joshua Janese was selected to serve on the Planning Commission, to fill the unexpired term of Tasia Fitzpatrick, until June 2023.
Richard Haight was named a Planning Commission alternate member.
Christine O’Hara was voted in as an alternate member to the Historic Preservation Commission.