WATERLOO — Waterloo High marching band director Dan Hacker remembers when he was a student teaching at Amsterdam High School when its band was invited to the Veteran’s Day parade in New York City some 10 years ago.
Hacker, a Waterloo High graduate, now wants the marching band at his alma mater to have the same positive experience.
He said the band has been selected to march in this year’s 100th anniversary Veteran’s Day parade on Nov. 11 down Fifth Avenue in New York City. He told the Village Board about the event Monday and asked for support, both financial and otherwise.
Mayor Jack O’Connor promised the board would consider it. “This is new to us tonight. We need to discuss it and see what, if anything, we can do. We’ll let you know,’’ O’Connor said.
“This has been a three-year process to apply and get accepted. We had to present a video to qualify for an invitation. The fact that Waterloo is the ‘Birthplace of Memorial Day’ was a big selling point for us,’’ Hacker said.
“They wanted us to come last year, but we asked to hold off until this year because of the 100h anniversary and to give us more time to prepare,’’ he said. Hacker read a letter from parade organizers, praising the band for its showmanship and commitment to the community.
The 65-member band is comprised of students in grades 6-12. Hacker said the plan is to leave by bus on Friday, stay in a New Jersey hotel, do some site-seeing, see Broadway shows and visit art museums and The World Trade Center Museum on Saturday and Sunday and then march in the Veteran’s Day parade, which starts at 11:11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month.
Hacker said 85 people are scheduled to go, including 10 chaperons and two band directors.
He said the Waterloo Band Boosters have conducted several fundraising event to offset the cost, which is $675 per students, all inclusive. “They’ve raised about $25,000 so far, with proceeds from a recent fundraising concert series still to figure in. The local VFW and American Legion have been asked to help, Hacker said. He said there are also plans for one or two spectator buses to leave early Monday morning to view the band in the parade and return that night.
“We want to make you proud of our school and hometown and have a good experience,’’ said drum major Alia Mason.
In other action, Village Administrator Don Northrup said the state Department of Transportation has done a preliminary design for a new Locust Street bridge over an off-shoot of the Cayuga-Seneca Canal. Three years ago, the state awarded the village a grant to repair or replace the deteriorating single-lane bridge, built in 1914 and closed for several years.
Northrup said it would cost $6.1 million to put in a new bridge that replicates the 1914 bridge, but that is too costly. A new proposal would cost $3.1 million, within the grant amount, but the State Historic Preservation Office must first sign off on the design. He said the grant requires the project to be completed by 2022.
“We’re told the bridge may collapse in two years, which would wipe out Water Street. I hope SHPO will not delay this and give us the bridge we want at the price that fits the grant,’’ O’Connor said.