LOCKPORT – The city will issue a request for proposals as soon as this week for a design for its Fallen Heroes Memorial, the committee in charge of the project decided Tuesday.
Mayor Michael W. Tucker also said an avenue for donations to the project has been set up in the City Treasurer’s Office.
Checks may be made out to the Fallen Heroes Memorial Fund and brought or mailed to the Treasurer’s Office in the Lockport Municipal Building, One Locks Plaza, Lockport, NY 14094.
“We’ve had a lot of people call asking to donate to this,” Tucker said.
Alderman Kenneth M. Genewick, who leads the committee with Alderwoman Kathryn J. “Kitty” Fogle, said he has received several offers.
He said Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour told him that the Niagara County Law Enforcement Foundation is willing to donate $1,000.
Genewick said American Concrete Co. is willing to donate all the stone and concrete needed, while Lafarge North America has offered boulders for the site and Liberty Tire offered digging equipment and rubber mulch.
However, the exact design still hasn’t been chosen. Tucker attended the memorial committee’s Tuesday meeting and told the members that Norman D. Allen, director of engineering and public works, will become the project manager.
The request for proposals will be simple. Designers and builders will be told that the Fallen Heroes Memorial will be built at what is now a closed fountain in Outwater Park and will have a “water feature.” Beyond that, the committee is open to suggestions.
Respondents will be asked to provide a rendering and a cost estimate for the committee to consider. Tucker said it will be due in three or four weeks.
The memorial issue cropped up in May, when Joseph DiPasquale of Buffalo proposed naming a park after Buffalo Officer Patricia Parete, who, like DiPasquale, was a 1983 Lockport High School graduate. Parete, 48, died Feb. 2, six years after being shot on duty and left paralyzed.
The Common Council rejected the park naming idea and suggested a memorial built around the fountain. It was soon decided that the memorial should honor all Lockportians who gave their lives in military, police and fire service, not just Parete.
Fogle said Parete’s family came to Outwater Park recently and cleaned up the crumbling concrete fountain, which hasn’t worked for several years.
Though it was first hoped the memorial would be done this fall, it now seems likely to be completed next year.
“The important thing is not when we get it done, it’s getting it done correctly,” Tucker said.
Committee member Anthony Sammarco said that although the city has been working with a design from Stedman Landscaping of Newfane, others need to be considered.
“I personally don’t think that just because one person or one company comes forward, that doesn’t mean they are the be-all and end-all,” Sammarco said.
Tucker decried the wrangling between DiPasquale and the city as detailed in an email exchange published in The Buffalo News on Saturday. “I think it’s a slap in the face to the Parete family,” Tucker said.