Families continue Lighthouse Discussion
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Khurram Saeed, firstname.lastname@example.org 12:16 a.m. EDT July 16, 2014
The families want to build the lighthouse at the end of Piermont Pier but need village permission.
PIERMONT – Relatives whose loved ones died nearly a year ago in a boat crash with a Tappan Zee Bridge construction barge are continuing to push to build a lighthouse in their memory.
Ray Lennon, who lost his brother Mark, and Carol Stewart Kosik, whose daughter Lindsey died, on Tuesday night implored Piermont trustees to back their cause. They want to erect a 19th-century style lighthouse at the end of Piermont Pier. The village owns the land and must grant permission.
Stewart Kosik said the lighthouse would pay tribute to the lost lives and promote safe boating in the Hudson River.
"Our goal is to ensure what happened to Lindsey and Mark will never happen again," she said at Piermont Village Hall.
Bride-to-be Stewart and Lennon, her fiance's best man, were killed last July 26 when the speedboat they were riding in smashed into the side of a low-lying barge off of the Piermont shore. Four others were injured. Stewart and Lennon were 30 years old. She lived in Piermont; he was from Pearl River.
The boat's captain, Jojo John, last month pleaded guilty to operating the boat while drunk. The six friends had just left a Piermont restaurant.
Lawsuits filed by the victims' families and crash survivors contend the lack of lighting played a major role in the crash, but bridge builder Tappan Zee Constructors has maintained the lighting complied with Coast Guard regulations.
Under a proposed plan, the white lighthouse would be located at the end of mile-long Piermont Pier and stand anywhere from 20 to 24 feet tall.
The Lindsey Stewart and Mark Lennon Memorial Fund would donate it to the village. It has raised $100,000 of the estimated $150,000 needed.
Village Mayor Chris Sanders expressed reservations. Calling it a "significant structure," he said it would permanently change the end of the pier and wondered if village residents supported the idea.
Piermont resident Margaret Grace didn't approve of the location, calling the end of the pier "hallow ground" because tens of thousands of soldiers left from there to fight in World War II. But Matthew Smith said the lighthouse would be a "wonderful addition."
Lennon said the $150,000 lighthouse would be a benefit to the community as a whole. He said they also want to install safety and emergency rescue equipment, such as life vests and ropes, at select sites along the pier that could be used by first responders and good Samaritans.
The discussion will continue at the board's next meeting on Aug. 5.