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$7.5 million secured for the USS The Sullivans repairs

President and CEO of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park, Paul Marzello
Posted at 12:00 AM, Jul 30, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Friday morning, Senator Charles Schumer announced $7.5 million in federal funding will go toward repairing the USS The Sullivan at the Buffalo and Erie Naval and Military Park. The USS The Sullivan partially sank in April due to a major breach in the hull of the ship. President of the Buffalo and Erie Naval and Military Park, Paul Marzello told 7 News, it was a great day for the park, the community and veterans across the country.

"Believe me, it brought a great deal of joy to the naval park and the entire community," said Marzello. "This is great news. Senator Schumer was here in the worst of times when the ship was partially sunk. He promised to do something to help us and today is a verification that he is a man of his word."

Schumer secured $7.5 million in appropriations bill to "complete repairs and fully restore the ship, ensuring the beloved landmark will remain canal side for generations."

"This money will give us the opportunity to look at more expensive ways to save this ship," said Marzello. "Meaning a cofferdam possibly or dry docking or all those possibilities that we just didn't have the resources to look at six to eight weeks ago."

No decisions will be made until the proper personnel is consulted, according to Marzello. A request for proposal was submitted which will point the Naval & Military Park in the right direction.

"The RFP is a request for proposal and it was to find a naval architect who has the expertise and the credentials to examine the hull, not only of this ship but all three of the ships and to make some recommendations as what they think will be the best possible and the most economical way to have a long term preservation project for them," said Marzello. "That RFP was due today (Friday) so have offers that did come in. We're going to be looking at those next week and we'll make that decision. Once that Naval Park gives us some guidance we will make that next decision to use this money."

Marzello told 7 News he's looking forward to having the repairs done.

"We had people coming in from all over the country including veterans who actually served on the ship and were actually just distraught, decimated, so heartbroken to see their ship in the state that she was in," said Marzello. "I can't wait to make those phone calls to them to say we have the resources now."

"This is a symbol of their sacrifice so to have this ship in the state that she is, sitting straight, sitting high out of the water and sitting proud to make sure their story gets told is extremely important," said Marzello.