Tonawanda News — The project was further delayed when the city and contractor squabbled over who was responsible for last-minute repairs and painting fixes. But, eventually, the contractor agreed to do the work and the structure was complete in the fall of 2012. The new gazebo is more modern than the old, with steel columns instead of the original wood and a fiber glass shell for appearance purposes.
And although the high cost of the gazebo has been criticized, the final cost of the project, $72,000, was not much higher than the original estimate — $69,000.
Taxpayers shouldered most of the burden for the project, and although a fundraiser did help, it didn’t come up with the kind of funds organizers were hoping for, only raising about $3,000.
The structure has a long history in the public square. It was the first bandstand in the area, constructed in 1900. In the 1920s, the original bandstand was torn down in favor of a larger gazebo, and in the 1970s, it was rebuilt.
Betty Tussing, who has lived in Tonawanda all her life, said she remembers the park in the 1940s, when bands used to frequent the area.
“It was just beautiful, and I’m happy it’s back,” she said.Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter at @JessicaLBagley