OSWEGO – At this week’s Administrative Services Committee meeting, councilors gave a big boost to the lighthouse restoration project.
Mayor Billy Barlow requested discussion and funding approval for the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse-Exterior Restoration and Painting Project.
The city was awarded $590,000 in 2016 for the EPF LWRP funding toward the $1,180,000 total project that contains five construction related activities as part of the on-going waterfront revitalization efforts, according to Justin Rudgick, economic development director.
One of those activities is restoration of the exterior of the lighthouse, he added.
The city recently prepared and issued bid documents for the restoration and exterior painting of the Port City landmark.
The project is reimbursable in the amount of $175,000 from EPF LWRP and the SAM grant through DASNY, Rudgick pointed out.
Based on the received and awarded bid from P.S. Bruckel, Inc., the total project cost is estimated at $225,600.
The project will include Scope One: the sealing, restoration and painting of the lighthouse roof and Scope Two, which deals with the other areas of the lighthouse.
“We are requesting a budget amendment to the 2018 city of Oswego Operating Budget to cover the total project cost to initiate commencement as soon as possible with completion before the end of this year,” Rudgick said. “This is one project activity that will be removed from the larger bond financing that was previously discussed and approved.”
“This is an exciting bit of progress news. The possibility of having this done this fall is just so fantastic,” said Mercedes Niess, executive director of the H. Lee White Maritime Museum.
She described the lighthouse as Oswego’s “shinning star.”
This past weekend, Oswego was part of the Lighthouse Challenge.
Bus loads of lighthouse enthusiasts traveled east and west to view the region’s lighthouses.
Many of them toured the Oswego lighthouse.
“I’ll tell you where these people came from; New Jersey, Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia, Michigan, Virginia, California, Maine and Pennsylvania (as well as all over CNY). We had a gentleman, originally from Shri Lanka, who came here from Washington, DC, – he took two trains to get here and from Syracuse, he took a bus to make it to this trip,” she said. “So, this is the potential of what our community can have. And, these folk stay in (our) hotels and they spend money here. They come from out of town to enjoy our community. And I have to tell you – they were absolutely thrilled and impressed with what we had to offer.”
The lighthouse restoration process is “an exciting step in the right direction,” she added.
The full council will now consider the request at its next meeting.