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Brasher officials name park in honor of late councilwoman

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BRASHER FALLS - A park that the late Brasher Councilwoman Margaret M. Burns had worked on lovingly during her tenure on the town board is being named in her memory.

Brasher Town Board members on Wednesday unanimously approved naming the park at the former town hall in Helena as the Margaret M. Burns Memorial Park in honor of the first female member of their board in the town’s history.

Mrs. Burns, 64, an eight-year member of the board who was running for a third term, died on Nov. 2.

Town Supervisor M. James Dawson said Mrs. Burns had taken the initiative to spruce up the playground area and beautify the site.

“It was something Margaret approached me about. I said go ahead and do it. She was the spark plug that got it going,” he said.

In August 2008, Mrs. Burns had requested some of the town’s 2007 casino gaming compact funds for the project, and provided board members with plans for what she envisioned at the site.

Mr. Dawson had already designated some of it for refurbishing the playground equipment behind the former town hall, which had also served as a school house, as well as the planting of flowers, trees and shrubs around the building.

In his resolution he presented to the board, Mr. Dawson cited her efforts at refurbishing the playground equipment so it could be used by children, as well as the planting of trees to enhance the natural beauty of the park.

In addition to her work on the park, Mrs. Burns had also been active in other efforts. She was the first female interior firefighter for the Helena Fire Department and, according to her obituary, the first in St. Lawrence County.

She also served as the department’s treasurer and was a member of the department’s auxiliary.

Mrs. Burns also served on the St. Lawrence Central Board of Education and LBSH Board of Directors and was a member of the Democratic Club and Tri-Town Trailblazers Snowmobile Club.

She had retired in June 2012 after 28 years as a customer service representative at the W.B. Goodnow Agency in Winthrop. But she remained committed to the town board and Helena Fire Department.

For the time being, her seat on the town board remains vacant, and board members will address how they want to fill it after the new year.

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