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World Trade Center artifact heads for Highland


May 25, 2011

A 380-pound piece of steel from the World Trade Center (WTC) is making its way from New York City to the Town of Highland. The artifact will be used to establish a WTC Memorial honoring all emergency service providers. Town of Highland Supervisor Andrew Boyar made the announcement at the town meeting in Eldred on May 10.

Boyar applied for the artifact on behalf of the town nearly 18 months ago in one of his first acts as supervisor.

The board passed a motion to establish a WTC Task Force to make recommendations concerning site, design, funding and maintenance issues. Serving on the task force are Boyar as chair, councilman Amanda Scully, Arnold Gruel, Mauro Giuffrida, Dorene Warner, Dory Tompsett, Janet Rutkowski, Bill Hofaker, Chuck Myers and Norm Sutherland. Others are welcome to become involved.

The new memorial will join others currently located next to the town hall at the intersection of Route 55 and Proctor Road in Eldred. Last week, several plants were removed to make room for the new displays, including a diseased evergreen installed by Boyar many years ago.

The artifact will be placed at the town hall while plans are developed for the monument’s design and construction. The team hopes to have everything in place for a dedication ceremony on September 11.

“The project is really gaining momentum, with people and businesses offering to donate services and materials,” said Boyar. “We’d like this to be a gift to the town.” Contact Boyar at 845/557-8901 for more information.

The board also authorized the creation of an independent funding tool, “Town of Highland WTC Memorial Fund, Inc.,” to accept citizen donations to help defray costs. Details will soon be available.

The not-for-profit corporation is being established for the sole purpose of receiving and disbursing those funds. Its three officers will be Boyar, councilman Frederick Bosch and town clerk Doreen Hanson, none of whom will receive any financial compensation.

Also approved that evening were resolutions to accept the planning proposal of the Sullivan County Planning Department to assist the town with a revision of its comprehensive plan as well as establishment of a task force to work on that update. Members are chairperson Carol Roig, John Conway, Jim Gutekunst, Julie Sherwood, Debbie Conway, Peter Barnes and Boyar.