Brighter outcome: Dunkirk Lighthouse pavilion gets approval

OBSERVER Photo by M.J. Stafford The Dunkirk Planning Board meets this week.

The Dunkirk Planning Board approved an altered plan for a pavilion on the grounds of the Dunkirk Lighthouse this week.

Board members sought changes to the pavilion exterior to make it fit in a little more with the lighthouse keeper’s house nearby. A brick structure built in the 1800s, the house now holds a museum.

Lighthouse representative Dave Briska started Tuesday’s meeting by laying out one of the bricks that will be added. The bricks will be placed up to about three feet high around exterior posts supporting the pavilion.

Briska said a more elaborate roof was explored but “to try and put up the fancy cross-bracing will be costly.” Instead, vinyl siding that looks like cedar shingles will be placed there.

Adding the vinyl siding will cost an additional $6,000, Briska said.

OBSERVER Photo by M.J. Stafford Dave Briska of the Dunkirk Lighthouse sits behind an example of bricks that will be added to the exterior of a pavilion they plan to build.

The Lighthouse envisions the pavilion as a money-making attraction for summer events.

Tents are used now for such events.

Briska said that at a wedding held there a couple weeks ago, “they didn’t care what the pavilion looked like. They told me it would just be nice to have a pavilion.”

He said that “if we can get it up, we can get extra money to have some of the historical items” on the building which are unaffordable now.

The all-volunteer Lighthouse is getting help with labor on the pavilion. For example, someone will be installing the brickwork for free.

“Fortunately, I do have some people who are willing to donate their time and effort on the projects,” Briska said.

Planning Board members were pleased with the changes Briska brought in.

“You really have done a great job. Very appreciative,” said Ed Schober, who later added, “You could have put up a bigger fight. It’s appreciated that you didn’t.”

Briska said any added attraction at the Lighthouse will benefit all of Dunkirk, by bringing more people in to spend money. “If we don’t have a covered spot, we’re not one of the places they want to go,” he said.

Board member John Mackowiak said the pavilion would be “a big plus” and could provide shelter for Memorial Day events.

Schober said he did not want to put any more stipulations in the site plan and the board then approved it.

Briska still hopes to get the pavilion built by the end of October. He noted that people are already interested in booking it during the summer of 2023.


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