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Contract for Flight of Five locks on hold

LOCKPORT – A $129,357 contract to design to restoration of another of Lockport’s 19th century Erie Canal locks was tabled by the Lockport Common Council last week.

The contract with Bergmann Associates of Rochester, which has been the engineering firm on the Flight of Five project for several years, was removed from last week’s agenda at the request of Alderman Richard E. Abbott, D-5th Ward, who said he was “concerned about legacy fees” for the project. The city is committed to operating and maintaining the old locks; Brian M. Smith, city planning and development director, said the city pays $10,000 a year to the Locks Heritage District Corp., a city agency, for that purpose.

The city has a $1.3 million grant from Empire State Development to reimburse its costs. Two of the five locks have been restored to working order. Smith said a third lock is to be restored this year, and if the Council passes the deal Feb. 17, there should be enough time to complete it this year.