LEWISTON – The Village Board learned Monday night that crews are about to break ground on the much-anticipated Tuscarora Heroes Monument at Portage and Center streets, across from Academy Park.
Village Trustee Bruce R. Sutherland told board members that excavation of the site will begin Wednesday and that Northern White Pine trees will be planted at the site Thursday.
“Work should be moving from that point on,” Sutherland said. “Things should be moving quickly.”
An unveiling is planned for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19, to mark the 200th anniversary of what is called the “Forgotten War” when Tuscarora Indians came to the aid of Lewiston citizens who found themselves on the front lines during the War of 1812.
The $400,000 monument is funded by a combination of donations and Niagara River Greenway funds.
The large bronze monument is designed by artist Susan J. Geissler, who also designed Lewiston’s Freedom Crossing Monument on the waterfront. The monument will depict the actions of Tuscarora Indians lending a hand to a woman and her baby, leading them to safety, while standing in resistance to the oncoming enemy.
A webcam is available to show the progress of construction of the Tuscarora Heroes Monument, as well as a panorama of the Niagara River and a view of the Freedom Crossing Monument at www.historiclewiston.org.
A flagpole at the monument site was removed for the village by a volunteer who chipped off all the paint and concrete and recoated the pole, Sutherland told the board. He said that it was ready to be reinstalled at a new site approved by the board, which is green space at the waterfront, south of the kiosk, centered in the garden at the sewer-overflow site.
The board also gave the approval to Emory Simon, owner of the Stone House wine bar at 755 Center St., to extend the rear patio of the historic building 10 feet south, in order to cover more of the rear patio. Simon was also given approval to put in enclosed steps that would be used in addition to a handicapped ramp, which Simon noted could become slippery in the winter.
Board members also agreed to schedule a meeting with Artpark President George D. Osborne to discuss costs for police coverage during the summer concert season.
Mayor Terry C. Collesano said after the meeting that he’d like to see Artpark help with these costs. He said those costs not only involve Lewiston police, but other police agencies that are pressed into service during the summer.
“The police have an issue, and we want to extend that conversation,” Collesano said. “It’s costing them a considerable amount of money in overtime, and they’d like to see Artpark help out in some way. We’ve talked with them before to no avail.
“Hopefully we can bring it up again. We’d like to have some understanding on compensation.”