By ANN BELCHER
BROCTON - On Monday night, the village will be "losing its halo," so to speak.
OBSERVER File photo
In this file photo crews remove the Brocton sign on the four-corner arch. On Monday night the “halo” (also pictured) will be removed for restoration.
In its next stage of dismantling, the village's four corner arch will have its circular center top portion, or "halo" removed by Buffalo Iron Corp.'s Patrick Hanley Jr., contractor for the restoration and refurbishment project. Prior to the removal of the halo, crews will be performing work called "shoring," which will involve heavily anchoring each of the arch's four arms so that as work takes place at the top, there will be no movement from the structure.
Village Streets Supervisor Tom Allen updated the trustees last week during the board's regular meeting that Brocton crews are readied for the work to begin. Allen will be assuring traffic is re-routed for work to be done safely, as the structure traverses the village's intersection at the center of town. Allen will also need to ensure that proper barricades are placed to keep pedestrian and vehicle traffic from the work zone. He, along with Electric Lineman Joe Majkowski and other village workers will be on hand assisting as the work takes place.
While Mayor Dave Hazelton reminds residents he doesn't encourage any large crowds forming too close to the site due to obvious safety reasons, excitement is generating in the small village around the tangible work that is at hand for the notable arch.
Owners of the St. Stephen's Hotel have planned a specially-themed party open to the public for the evening, which will hopefully boast some birds' eye views of the tear-down work from the equally historical restaurant and bar.
The work was planned for evening hours in order to keep any traffic congestion at a minimum according to Hazelton. He also reminds drivers that Route 5, as well as in-town local traffic routes are open and accessible for any through-traffic during the work hours. The tear-down is anticipated to last anywhere from two to four hours.
During Wednesday's meeting, Hazelton also recognized former Brocton Central School teacher Dorothy Dobbins for her donation to the refurbishment and restoration project, as well as an unnamed donor.
Now that the project is fully grant funded through a New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation grant, donations will be directed strictly at the ongoing care and maintenance of the proposed new arch.
The Donor Recognition Program, which has been ongoing throughout the year, will expire on December 1. This program was instituted as a way to give special thanks to an individual, family, business or any other type of organization who have donated more than $250 in a single donation, or in multiple donations. Their names will be memorialized in a special plaque that will be unveiled with the new arch, and will stand in the Village Commons area next to Village Hall.
Hazelton reminds donors wishing to reach that goal to please do so before the December 1 deadline. All donations may be made through the Village Clerk's Office.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Brocton's structure remains the only remaining example of a double-steel arch in the country.