LOCKPORT – The Town of Newfane last week sought Niagara County Legislature support for Niagara River Greenway funding to repair one of the piers at Olcott’s Krull Park Beach and the wall on the beach’s border.
The request to the Legislature’s Ad Hoc Greenway Committee totaled $118,460: $78,000 for the deteriorating wall, $29,460 for the now-closed concrete pier; $6,000 for signs; and $5,000 for landscaping.
The wall, Councilwoman Laura Rutland said, is part of the foundation of the former Olcott Beach Hotel and is riddled with holes. Next to it are stone steps that lead down to the beach. “It’s an eyesore. We want to make it a real beach atmosphere,” Rutland said.
The east pier off the beach was built by the county in the 1950s. There is a second, longer pier to the west, which was once a hotel pier, Supervisor Timothy R. Horanburg said.
“It is in dire need of surfacing and concrete,” Rutland said of the east pier, which is 180 feet long, 7 feet wide and 12 feet thick.
Horanburg said repairing the west pier may get complicated. Because that pier is broken beneath the surface of the water, the Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Environmental Conservation have to be brought into the picture.
“That’s going to take some real planning,” the supervisor said.
But Horanburg said they are an important part of the beach upgrade program the town has undertaken since taking control of Krull Park Beach from the county three years ago.
“The piers really delineate our beach,” Horanburg said. “We don’t let anybody on the piers.”
The county still owns the beach. The town now hires the lifeguards, handles the maintenance and hauls in fresh sand every year. It also purchased chairs, umbrellas and a guard hut.
The repairs to the pier and wall, Rutland asserted, “will increase tourism. It will bring more folks into the area. It’ll be a destination again.”
“We’re hungry to get this beach going,” said Legislator John Syracuse, R-Newfane.
Legislator Cheree J. Copelin, R-Niagara Falls, chairwoman of the Legislature’s Greenway panel, said a response to the funding request will be made within 30 days.
A Legislature resolution of support will allow the town to move through the other parts of the process: a presentation and vote on compatibility with the Greenway plan by the Greenway Commission, and then a decision on funding by the Host Communities Standing Committee.