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Lighthouse wants grants for erosion control

OBSERVER Photos by M.J. Stafford The Dunkirk Lighthouse wants to build a pavilion.

The Dunkirk Lighthouse and Veterans Museum wants the city to find grant money for help with erosion problems.

City Clerk Edwin Ramos read a letter about the issue from the Lighthouse’s David Briska at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.

“The Lighthouse board would like to… request that the city of Dunkirk consider looking for grants that would protect Point Gratiot Park, the lighthouse grounds and Cedar Beach from further erosion,” Briska wrote. “Over the past several years, the storms on Lake Erie have been getting increasingly worse, causing the shoreline to erode at a faster pace. With each storm the shoreline is getting closer to the road through the park and the lighthouse tower, causing concern.”

Briska continued, “At one point in time there was approximately 54 feet from the cliff edge. Two years ago, we had to purchase a new fence and move it 10 feet from the original fence line and there are already a few spots where the shoreline is almost within a few feet of the existing fence. In a few years, the thousands of visitors we attract to the city will be unable to climb the observation deck, which would decrease the number of visitors to our fair city.”

The Dunkirk Lighthouse and Veterans Museum is run by a non-profit organization. The museum is within the old lighthouse keeper’s house.

In September, Briska got the city to sign off on a new pavilion that the Lighthouse wants to build to better serve group events, such as weddings. Some Dunkirk Planning Board members initially had concerns that the building didn’t fit in with the rest of the grounds, but they approved it after minor changes to the blueprints.

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