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A mural project in Seneca held a fundraiser over the weekend.

On Saturday, the Silo Pathway’s Seneca Mural Project committee gathered in the village parking lot on Main Street for a kick-off celebration and fundraiser. The Seneca FFA sold a pork chop dinner and the first 24 contributors of $100 or more will have their names displayed on a commemorative plaque in at the village hall.

Seneca’s village board approved a partnership with North Central ARTworks, paving the way for an $81,200 art project the board hopes will be the beginning of an improved downtown business area and attract new tourism. The approximately 80-by-32-foot artwork, designed by artist Ray Paseka, is planned for the north wall of 313 N. Main Street and will be created on pre-painted aluminum sheeting then mounted to a steel support grid. The mural, with a cut-out three-dimensional effect, will feature a ship builder’s crane with a telegraph pole cut-out and the restoration of the existing Schlitz beer sign from the 1900s.

The cost will be $75,000 and an additional $6,200 in light fixtures, but the village is seeking grants for the project, said ARTworks executive director Chris Coughlin. Mayor Jeff Olson reiterated that point, saying there will be no village money used for the project. Olson said the mural will be an amazing tribute to Seneca’s history and a great tourism addition to the downtown business district.