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Newfane plans facelift for Main Street

NEWFANE – New curbs, lighting and even a new veterans park are on the drawing board for a commercial stretch of Main Street, which will receive a $421,000 face-lift later this year, thanks in large part to a federal grant.

The portion of Main Street to receive attention extends from Ewings Road to what is known as West Avenue on one side of Main Street and continues on as East Avenue after it crosses Main Street.

Newfane Supervisor Timothy Horanburg said his town has received a $336,880 federal grant, courtesy of the Transportation Enhancement Program Project, to be administered through the state Department of Transportation. The grant requires that the town kick in another $84,220, bringing the total to $421,100. Horanburg said the town’s portion will come from its fund balance.

Town representatives met with state DOT officials last week in Buffalo to map out a plan for the work.

“We’re hoping to start construction in September or October, after we go through the bidding process, and have it completed by November,” Horanburg said. “But a lot of little things could alter this, because the federal government is involved in this, as well as the state. But I think that after this meeting we had Tuesday, we’re all on board with what we’re doing.”

Horanburg said that town officials “had never heard of this program before and we submitted our application for it at the last minute, never thinking we’d get it. But we got it in the first round.”

He said the town was notified several months ago that it would receive the grant and has already completed its consultant selection process, choosing the Wendel Architecture, Engineering, Surveying and Landscape Architecture Corp.

“Wendel is doing an inventory of Main Street, looking at what needs replacing or fixing,” he said, adding that recent progress has been hampered by the snow.

Horanburg said the Main Street project will include the replacement of pavers installed in the 1980s that are “old and uneven, some concrete work, curbing, lighting and entrance signs, too. We also want to put in a crosswalk in front of Town Hall.”

He said that perhaps the biggest part of the project involves the establishment of a new veterans park on a long, narrow green space tucked between Town Hall at 2737 Main St. and First Niagara Bank, at 2743 Main St. The space measures 25 feet wide by about 60 feet deep.

“We need the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars sitting at the table on this,” Horanburg said. “We want the veterans to decide how they want to design this. It’ll be a pleasant little area.”

Paul Leader, commander of the Newfane American Legion, said the veterans park idea has been in discussion for about two decades.

“It will be great,” he said.

He has been helping coordinate the local veterans’ visions for the park, which currently include a monument, flag pole and plaques.

“This park will honor those who have served and are serving their country and it also will help teach the next generation,” he said. “Kids these days don’t know about World War II or Korea. We want plaques explaining the different war eras, so this park really becomes a teaching place, too.”

Leader said the veterans also are interested in creating brick pathways, offering individual bricks for sale, inscribed with veterans’ names.

“We want this to be a quality park,” he said.