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City won’t fund new ‘Dreams’ sign

With Dunkirk’s finances in a nightmarish situation, city officials panned suggestions for a new “Field of Dreams” sign at Wright Park.

The Serval Street sign welcomed visitors to the baseball and softball fields. According to Mayor Kate Wdowiasz, it was damaged in a July 2023 storm and has been down ever since.

A walk-on resolution at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting sought to use the city’s Bill Cease Fund to pay for a new sign. Wdowiasz asked the council to vote “no.” It did so, with James Stoyle, Nick Weiser and Abigail Yerico providing the votes. Natalie Luczkowiak voted “aye” but expressed reluctance about it. Nancy Nichols was not present.

Cease owned a popular Dunkirk deli and established a fund to pay for city recreational needs in his will. However, Luczkowiak said Tuesday the fund is nearly depleted.

She said, “I’ve been told different amounts, different reasons. I’m not sure why, I don’t have the facts — but I do know the city is in dire financial straits. I’m happy we can help with the Field of Dreams sign, and last year with the scoreboard, it is within the scope of the Cease Fund. However, that is most likely all we will be able to do for quite a while.”

Wdowiasz then said, “I would like to ask the council. Not to pass this resolution, when this invoice was first brought to the city, the Little League representatives had stated that if the city was in a financial crisis, they would do their own fundraising for this. But then I know that they had reached out to other council members and asked that this resolution be introduced. Obviously, as Councilwoman Luczkowiak just said, the funds in that account are rapidly decreasing.”

The mayor went on to imply that the council’s recent hike of summer camp fees might force kids to find other recreational opportunities. She said the Cease Fund may be needed to buy equipment if the city opts to restart its playground recreational programs within Dunkirk.

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