For many, it's a historical treasure. For others, it's considered to be the symbol of Erie And now, the Flagship Niagara is receiving a huge financial boost.
Governor Tom Corbett made the announcement at the Erie Maritime Museum Thursday afternoon. The Flagship Niagara is receiving $4.8 million in funding for repairs.
"It's an investment in the great history of the wonderful Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," said Corbett. "It's also an investment in our future, and the continuing hands-on education of our young people."
According to Flagship Niagara Captain William Sabatini, the money will be used to raise the deck 20 inches, which will improve stability and safety on the ship. The funds will also be used to replace the deck and planks on the Flagship Niagara.
"This is the biggest news we can get," said Captain Sabatini. "This is the most important thing that has happened to the ship since this version of the Niagara was built 25 years ago."
The work is expected to prolong the service life of the ship by 25 years. Captain Sabatini says he hopes to begin construction on the ship by the fall.