Heritage Festival canceled

There will be one less thing to do on Sept. 7 in the city of Dunkirk. During his report time at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting, Mayor Anthony J. Dolce announced the inaugural Heritage Festival has been canceled.

“I’ve deliberated about this for quite some time and I just felt that it would be in everyone’s best interest to cancel the event at this time. Simply, there’s no major sponsor and without a major sponsor it’s not a great idea to keep going,” the mayor stated. “One of our main goals in running these festivals is to have them as a break-even proposition. If we had this event without a major sponsor that would not help the cause.

“I think my preference going forward would be to have the event in Washington Park. The main reason there is we want to incorporate the Historical Society. It is a heritage fest, what better venue that the Historical Society. I think what we also need to do with that is shorten the proposed hours, something around a 7 o’clock time frame so we’re not there too late. That way we would be more accommodating to the neighbors of that area.”

Dolce also announced Music on the Pier is being extended and will now take place Sept. 5 and 12.

“This is to make up for the two rain dates that we had earlier in the season. It would be the Elvis impersonator and La Krema,” he explained. “Those bands will go on and also stay tuned for more details on that. We may be incorporating a few more bands on those nights.”

Dolce was also questioned on street paving during the meeting and replied that a hot-in-place program will be used this season.

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll have enough time to do the streets that fall under the milling need. … The target date is September. We will have more details for you at the next council meeting on that,” he added.

After the meeting Dolce was asked about the hot-in-place.

“It’s the most long-lasting possibility we have at our disposal,” Dolce replied, adding the list of streets to be done is still being finalized for a late September start.

“We still have to go out to bid. We already did the bids once for hot-in-place, however, we didn’t receive any back yet. What we need to do is go back out and hope one’s out there,” he explained. “We believe one is out there that would like to do it at the end of September. They’re obviously in demand but pretty much there is only one place that does cities like ours in that system. We also need to make sure that we have 30,000 linear feet in order for them to come down here. We do.

“That’s a significant amount, it should translate to over $500,000 of paving. The unfortunate part is it doesn’t look like we’ll get the milling done. Not every street can have hot-in-place because of a lack of base so the ones with the milling portion are going to have to wait.”

The wait is due to HUD’s failure to release the city’s 2013 Community Development Block Grant funding.

“We’re just going to run out of time before the money is approved. I have five streets that will be done with HUD money, but they’re all milled streets,” Dolce explained. “It just looks like we’re going to run out of time.”

Third Ward Councilman Adelino Gonzalez chairs council’s public works committee which met earlier Tuesday. He was asked about the paving situation.

“Due to the fact our engineer left us so quickly and we haven’t got him replaced it doesn’t look like we’re going to get much done, ” he replied, adding he didn’t know which streets will be selected. “Originally, we had quite a few. A lot of people that I know were waiting to see if they’re going to start on their street. We’re going to have to see what we can do or what machinery we can borrow from the area to address that situation.”

One surface that will see some attention shortly is the Wright Park basketball court, which currently has some large cracks in the playing area.

“It’s a court that’s used very frequently so I’m pleased to say we’ll be addressing those serious cracks in the near future,” Dolce told council.

Send comments to gsnyder@observertoday.com