Lockport Locks Heritage District committee looks to form corporation
The LHDC would be a subsidiary of the Greater Lockport Development Corporation and begin in 2014, after the completed restoration of two of the Flight of Five locks.
For the past 8 years, members of the community have been working to restore the Flight of Five to working order.
The purpose of this creation would be to have the LHDC be responsible for tourist attractions and events within the Locks Heritage District. They would also be in charge of promotion, operations and maintenance of the Heritage District.
Some of their duties would include operation and maintenance of visitor signage, organization and promotion of special events, tours and attractions, operation of the Lockport Harbor Marine Center and the operations and maintenance of the to be restored Erie Canal locks 67 through 71.
“The scope of the project is much more than just restoring the old historic locks,” said committee member David Kinyon. “Restoring locks 67 through 71 will really transform the entire canal corridor within the City of Lockport and make it much more of a economic driver in terms of improving tourism in our community.”
The Lockport Locks Heritage District Committee has a deadline of June 20, 2013 to begin work on locks 69 and 70. Mayor Michael Tucker said there is a 20 percent match for a grant received to begin the project. He said the city would soon have to approve their share, $360,000, to receive the $2.2 million grant. The money will be bonded as part of their current capital improvement project.
Kinyon said once started, it will take between a year and a year and a half to complete to two locks, which is why the LHDC would not begin until 2014. They will also create a vintage boat to travel on the new locks.
Tucker said the creation of the LHDC would help with some of the financial burden for attractions, such as the Canal Concert Series.
The LHDC would have a budget that would cover the concert series, marina operation, promotion and advertising and other tourist and promotion needs in the area.