Council Chambers

Tonawanda, New York

October 20, 2009

 

A Regular Meeting of the Common Council

 

Present:  Council President Zeisz

Present Councilmembers:  Perkins, Kossow, Davis

Excused:  Waterhouse

 

Pledge of Allegiance led by Council President Zeisz

 

Prayer led by Council President Zeisz

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE MAYOR

 

Proclamation proclaiming Friday, October 16, 2009, as honorary day for the TNT Games 100th Anniversary.

 

A letter from the Department of State dated September 28, 2009, regarding Community Projects Appropriation Contract #TM09056. 

 

A letter from Erie County Clerk Kathleen Hochul, dated October 7, 2009, telling the City that they can expect to received approximately $71,627.00 in year end Mortgage Tax distribution.

 

A letter from the NYSDEC dated October 16, 2009, regarding the Spaulding Fibre Site.

 

A letter from Empire State Development, stamped October 15, 2009, regarding Restore NY III – Demolition of the Spaulding Fibre Facility. 

            Ordered filed

 

COMMUNICATION FROM CITY OFFICIALS AND CORRESPONDENCE

 

The following monthly reports were received by the City Clerk:

            September monthly report of the City Clerk

            September minutes of the Plumbing Board

October minutes of the Civil Service Commission

General Fund Budget and Sewer Fund Budget revenues and expenditures for the City of Tonawanda as of October 20, 2009

                Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                                    Ordered filed

 

A letter from WNY Falls Prevention, dated October 8, 2009, regarding a walk-ability study that was done in our community.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                        Ordered filed

           

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

 

200.     By Councilmember Perkins                         seconded by Councilmember Kossow

            Resolved, that the bills be allowed as audited and the City Clerk be authorized to draw warrants on the Treasurer for the various amounts.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

 

 

201.     By Councilmember Davis                                        seconded by Council President Zeisz

                        Resolved, that the reading of resolutions 202, 203, 204, & 206 be waived.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

202.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

              Whereas, the City of Tonawanda herein called the “Municipality”, after thorough consideration of the various aspects of the problem and study of available data, has hereby determined that certain work, as described in its application and attachments, herein called the “Project”, is desirable, is in the public interest, and is required in order to implement the Project; and

            Whereas, the Environmental Conservation Law (“ECL”) authorizes State assistance to municipalities for water quality improvement projects by means of a contract and the Municipality deems it to be in the public interest and benefit under this law to enter into a contract therewith; now, therefore be it

            Resolved, by the Common Council of the City of Tonawanda that Ronald J. Pilozzi, Mayor of the City of Tonawanda or such person’s successor in office, is the representative authorized to act in behalf of the Municipality’s governing body in all matters related to State assistance under ECL Articles 17, 51 and 56 and/or any applicable federal grant provisions.  The representative is also authorized to make application, execute the State Assistance Contract, submit Project documentation, and otherwise act for the Municipality’s governing body in all matters related to the Project and to State assistance; and be it further

            Resolved, that the Municipality agrees that it will fund its portion of the cost of the Project and that funds will be available to initiate the Project’s field work within twelve (12) months of written approval of its application by the Department of Environmental Conservation;  and be it further

            Resolved, that one (1) certified copy of this Resolution be prepared and sent to the Albany office of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and be it further

            Resolved, that this resolution take effect immediately.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

           

203.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, a Special Events Application and a $25.00 application fee were received by the City Clerk from the American Legion Post #264 and Vietnam Veterans Chapter #77 for a “Labor Day Car Show” and

            Whereas, the application was reviewed and commented on by all appropriate department heads to insure the safety of our residents, and

            Whereas, all details for the above named event must be coordinated with the City of Tonawanda Director of Parks and Recreation and the event Chairperson, now, therefore be it

            Resolved, that permission be granted to the American Legion Post #264 and the Vietnam Veterans Chapter #77, to hold a “Labor Day Car Show” on September 6, 2010, from 7:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. in Niawanda Park from City Hall to Gibson Street and be it further

            Resolved, that any overtime cost that is incurred by the City of Tonawanda must be reimbursed by the American Legion Post #264 and the Vietnam Veterans Chapter #77 to the City and be it further

            Resolved, that a Certificate of Insurance naming the City of Tonawanda as additional insured be presented to the City Clerk no later than September 1, 2010.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

           

204.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, a Special Events Application and a $25.00 application fee were received by the City Clerk from the American Legion Post #264 and the Vietnam Veterans Chapter #77 for a “Gathering of Iron” motorcycle rally and

            Whereas, the application was reviewed and commented on by all appropriate department heads to insure the safety of our residents and

            Whereas, all details for the above named event must be coordinated with the City of Tonawanda Director of parks and Recreation and the events Chairperson, now, therefore be it

            Resolved that permission be granted to the American Legion Post #264 and the Vietnam Veterans Chapter #77 to hold the “Gathering of Iron” motorcycle rally on August 22, 2010, from 7:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. in Niawanda Park from City Hall to Gibson Street and be it further

            Resolved, that any overtime that is incurred by the City of Tonawanda must be reimbursed by the American Legion Post #264 and the Vietnam Veterans Chapter #77 to the City and be it further

            Resolved, that a Certificate of Insurance naming the City of Tonawanda as additional insured be presented to the City Clerk no later than August 15, 2010.  

 

Ayes: Perkins, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

205.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that permission be granted to Mullen School to use various streets surrounding the school to hold a Halloween Parade on Friday, October 30, 2009. 

 

Ayes: Perkins, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

206.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, the County of Erie Department of Environment and Planning is currently accepting applications for funding under the 2010-2011 fiscal year Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program; and

Whereas, CDBG applications from Community Development Block Grant Consortium communities, including the City of Tonawanda, are due on or before Monday, October 26, 2009, and

Whereas, the City of Tonawanda scheduled, advertised and held a public hearing on October 19, 2009 at 5:00 PM in the City of Tonawanda City Hall, 200 Niagara Street, Tonawanda, New York 14150 to provide city residents the opportunity to comment and submit suggestions on projects to be included in CDBG funding requests and applications, and

Whereas, the City of Tonawanda Mayor’s Office has identified and is finalizing three (3) CDBG funding applications for CDBG fiscal year 2010-2011,

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, The City of Tonawanda Common Council hereby approves and authorizes the Mayor of the City of Tonawanda to execute and submit all necessary CDBG funding applications documents and contracts with the Erie County for funding application under the 2010 - 2011 Community Development Block Grant Program for the following projects listed in order of city priority:

 

1)      Cleveland Avenue pavement milling, overlay and ADA ramps. Total estimated project cost, $140,000.

2)      Phase I Gibson Street pavement milling, overlay and sidewalk replacement. Total estimated project cost, $75,000.

3)   Moyle Avenue pavement milling, overlay and sidewalk replacement. Total                       

                  estimated project cost, $100,000.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Robert Derner, 286 Niagara Shore Drive – Last week in the Buffalo paper, there was an interesting article concerning the Village of Limestone   I don’t know if any of you’ve seen it, if you haven’t I brought a copy of it so that you can see it.  What is was is that the Village of Limestone decided to dissolve and became part of the Town of Carrollton and as a result, their taxes were reduced by 46% and the Town of Carrollton, their taxes were reduced 4%.  I don’t know if this could happen in the City of Tonawanda, because it is a City, not a Village, but I’ve been living in this City probably longer than most people in this room and when I was in High School, I used to work at the Niagara Drive-In Theatre where K-Mart is now and I used to drive my car between Tonawanda, down Koenig Road, and there were a few houses on Koenig Road and everything in between was nothing but fields, it was fields all the way over to Brighton Road where Petersen started building and Pierce & Pierce started building Green Acres Village.  In the meantime, Tonawanda was a City and our High School was involved in the Niagara Frontier League and we competed with Kenmore West and North Tonawanda, Lockport.  Now, our school is small.  All these other towns around us grew up and we’re still this same little City and these other places, the Town of Tonawanda has a population of 62,000, Kenmore, the Village has 16,000, and our population went from 18,000 down to 13,000 or 14,000.  I don’t know how it got smaller, but it did.  The point is, we’re going nowhere, we’re staying the same, and these other areas are growing around us and our taxes are continually growing every year.  Our real estate is not competitive with any of the other areas around us and I think maybe, instead of paying $25,000 to Brearley for a yearly revaluation of our City, which he doesn’t know beans about.  Maybe we should take and use some of that money and have a study to see if there’s some possibility we can dissolve the City.  We’d still have the same people here, the same town and everything else; we just won’t be called C-I-T-Y.  We might be something else, but our taxes might be lower, our downtown area with lower taxes might grow, and I think we should take a look at it and see if it’s possible.  It isn’t gonna cost a great deal but it’s costing all our taxpayers a lot of money just to be a City when we get no benefits from it.  And on top of it, our High School, or our school system, at sometime in the future is gonna have to be absorbed by the union free school district because our taxes there are over $17.00 a 1,000 and it’s still no end in sight to the amount of taxes we pay, even though we’re closing schools and there’s no end to it.  So here’s the article in case any of you didn’t see it so that you can read it.  It might be worthwhile looking into it.  

 

Dennis Smilinich, 240 Grove Street – I’m hoping that Janice may have some of the answers because I have done some research on this for the last week and a half.  In the past, from 17 to 55 Main Street, behind the building which is City property, called the alley, my first question, has any of this property called the alley been leased or sold to various property owners?  I checked with the City Tax Assessor today and she looked at the deed and there is no record of any of that property being sold or leased.  Janice, am I right or wrong.  Is there any resolution? 

 

City Clerk Janice Bodie - Not that I know of but..…

 

Council President Zeisz - …Mr. Smilinich, I want to say maybe a year and half, two years ago, we were approached to sell some of the property in Koenig’s Alley which abuts the building, basically, the property on the building side of the fire lane and the decision was made at the time not to sell any of that property, primarily because there is just a quagmire of utilities, underground, on the buildings, so unless something has  happened I don’t know about, we didn’t sell any of that property. 

 

Dennis Smilinich – You answered my first question.  My second question, has the City issued any permits or variance to establish outdoor patio to serve alcoholic beverages?    

 

Council President Zeisz – The Common Council hasn’t, I can say that.  I don’t know.  I can’t speak for the Mayor’s Office.  The Council would do permits on outdoor patios, but as far as anything else, I’m not aware of any. 

 

Dennis Smilinich – So we all know where the alley by the surveys are.  I’ve been checking to see if there’s been any applications or events have been filed in the past six months to utilize this property.  No events have been approved that I know of by this Council.  No health permits have been issued.  No permit from the State Liquor Authority have been received in the Tonawanda Police Department or been asked to be submitted by these organizations to utilize this property.  One of the businesses has a public license which is required to either have catering license for that day and event, or a temporary beer and wine license.  My next question, since we now have that information and we just got done reading items 3 and 4 which concern organizations that I did and paid for, it took me almost six months to get approved by this Council and every other entity.   The next would be the City of Tonawanda Mayor’s Permit, vending permits.  When I called, I was told that to sell or serve beer, wine, alcohol or food and charge for that, you’re required to get a vending permit and I have the information needed for the permits. The applicant’s name, non-profit, description, nature & quality of food beverage, goods and whatever is suppose to be sold.  I also have an approved one that one of our organizations did and it basically says this information:  It says the City of Tonawanda Mayor’s Office, issued to: the organization, purpose: what the purpose was, date and time: date and time of events, approve set up as per application, department(s) you must contact for information, rules and guidelines: Police, Fire, DPW, and Recreation, City liaison person, it gives you a City liaison person, it gives you the costs, and at the bottom: “for use only: insurance certificate, state liquor permits, SLA permit, health permit food, health permit public gathering or others.  This one is signed by Mayor Pilozzi and underneath it says, “approved pending receipts of necessary permits and cooperation with the Department Heads”.    My question is, we, and some of the different organizations that probably give ten times what anybody else gives in the community of support, is there a double standard? 

 

Councilmember Davis – Mr. President, could I ask a question? 

 

Council President Zeisz – Mr. Davis.

 

Councilmember Davis – Is there a specific….

 

Dennis Smilinich – There are many specific dates. I just saw pictures of areas that were burnt back there.  I was talking specifically of one of the events that I did not see but I was told about by many people, it was September 12th, it was a stag, they sold tickets for $12, they had tents back there, they served alcoholic beverages, they served food, but yet no permit was asked from this City for that property. 

 

Council President Zeisz - Well, the only thing I could tell you as far as that, you know, when you talk about vendor permits, the Council wouldn’t even know about those because we never see them, they never come before the Council. 

 

Dennis Smilinich Well, I talked to the Mayor last week and the Mayor was present.  There was also other City Officials present at these events.  Also, I was given tonight, just handed to me a minute ago, here’s the area that was used.  Who repairs that area and who pays for it?  This is between the viaduct.  Secondly is, this is behind that area.  There’s a food pantry right next to that that serves Veterans of this community. All I’m asking for is that you look into this and that we approve no permits or have the City go by the same standards.  I’m asking a simple question. 

 

Councilmember Davis – Mr. Zeisz?

 

Council President Zeisz – Mr. Davis.

 

Councilmember Davis – What business are you referring to that’s doing this? 

 

Dennis Smilinich – I don’t know because they go by so many names, you know, the business is at 55 Main Street but they do have a public license.  What it goes under, I’m not sure. 

 

Councilmember Davis – Talking about the Knights of Columbus?

 

Dennis Smilinich - Well, it could be a number of those organizations. 

Council President Zeisz – Thank you Mr. Smilinich.   We definitely will look into it. 

 

COMMENTS FROM THE COUNCILMEMBERS AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Councilmember Perkins – It’s going to be a little while before we see you again, so everyone have a happy and safe Halloween.

 

Councilmember Kossow – It’s always good to see students here from the school.   They have Erie County Sectionals for soccer coming up and hopefully they’ll do well.  I would like to send my thoughts and prayers to Jean Harmon and the rest of family on their recent loss. 

 

Councilmember Davis – I’d like to thank the Downtown Merchants Association for their “Autumn on Main Street”, there was quite a large crowd and really nice weather.  I thought it was a very well attended event, and it’s something that I hope to see carry on in the future.  That same day, our fire station had their Open House which was also well attended, a lot of people came out for the chili, which I couldn’t eat because it would have tore up my system the following day, but my hats off to everybody at the fire station for throwing that event.  Jim commented on the Harmon family.  You know, Harmons have been a part of this City since Sheridan Creekmore was Mayor with my grandfather on the Council back in the 70’s and it is very tragic to lose somebody much too soon.  I would ask for a family that has given so much to the City that we keep them in our thoughts and prayers.  Today’s news, showed a picture of J.D. CraneNobody’s ever seen this guy before and I find it funny that he picks a newspaper instead of a public venue to come to, to let residents address their concerns dealing with the benzene and the ammonia in the atmosphere, but he continues to want to coward behind his lawyers and certain news organizations in order to say that point blank that there’s other people in the area are polluters too, he’s not just the only one.  As far as the benzene and the ammonia are concerned, he is the only one that is affecting the health and the air quality here in the City of Tonawanda and I’m really interested to read part two of the story, but unless this man pulls his head out of his butt and realizes what he’s doing to the surrounding community, nothing’s going to change.  Last night, we had a meeting of the Vigilant Guard.  I’d like to thank all the players that have been meeting every Friday morning for the last few weeks to try and hatch out a Memorandum of Understanding, meeting the Mayor, Police and Fire, Mr. Iraci, people from the County, the State, it’s a lot of coordination happening to make an event like this happen and frankly, I’m pretty excited about something like this happening here in the City of Tonawanda because it gives us another opportunity to put ourselves on the map, other than the Canal Fest every year.  There was a press release also, stating that the Army Corps is going to do additional testing starting this week on the homes behind Hackett due to stimulus money that was freed up by Senator Schumer. I’d like to thank Senator Schumer for freeing up this money for the additional testing, but looking over the methodology that the Army Corps is going to use, it’s really no different from the methodology they’ve used for the last twenty years and this will be a huge amount of money wasted unless it leads to the overall cleanup of that 3.5 acres.  I guess one would have to sit back and wonder how much money has been spent on testing, monitoring and any of the other costs that the Army Corps has incurred.  If we’re spending a million dollars on this round of testing, how much in the millions has been spent before.  Twenty years ago it would have probably just better to dig it up and get it out of there, it would have been cheaper than what we’re going through right now, but we keep playing this charade game of trying to get the number above a certain threshold instead of doing what’s in the best interest of residents and of the school which is to get it the hell out of there.  So, like I said, I’m trying to remain optimistic but unless this round of testing leads to remediation of that area behind the landfill, it will be a huge waste of money. One other thing, seeing as though we’re not going to meet, I’d like to wish all of our residents a Happy Veterans Day.   

 

Council President Zeisz - Just one note on the landfill, you know Mr. Davis alluded to the fact that there going to do more testing.  My one simple question is, I don’t care if they test that for the next fifty years.  The reality is, they’ve already said it has to be covered.  One way or another, it has to be capped.  If it doesn’t get removed, it has to be capped.  But it can’t be capped because it’s too close to the property line.  I don’t know why this is so difficult for certain individuals to understand, but what I do see is someone trying to run away from responsibility for it.  That’s exactly what’s happened because if they can push it down on to someone else, New York State, the Town, let them deal with the problem.  That’s all this amounts to because the testing means nothing in the big picture.  The big picture is, it has to be addressed, the fact that it’s within 50’ of people’s homes, and anyone that knows anything about a landfill obviously, they’re very high and they have to be graded.  Well, if they graded them, they’d be taller than some of the people’s fences.  So all the water would go right in their back yard.  I don’t know, I’m glad they’re doing more testing because I think it’s good so we have more information for the residents but it doesn’t get to the heart of the issue and the heart of the issue is they seem to be trying to avoid the fact that they don’t want to take it out.  They’ve never wanted to dig it out and get it out of here, period.  That’s the way it’s always been and until they want to address that, then my fear all along has been that it’s gonna get dumped on to New York State and it’s going to roll down hill for someone else to deal with. 

 

Councilmember Davis – Mr. President, there was a point in time where it was going to get cleaned up and that was back in the 80’s when the Department of Energy had jurisdiction over all FUSRAPS.  Well, the Department of Energy has different guidelines than the Army Corps.  You have two different government agencies with two different guidelines and I can see why Congress shifted jurisdiction from the Department of Energy over to the Army Corps because their guidelines are a lot less stringent so therefore, they would be responsible for cleaning up as many sites as the Department of Energy guidelines would have instructed to do so.  So, like Council President Zeisz said, landfill can’t be capped so you know, you’re going to have quality of life issues that are going to continue because the Town can’t properly cap the landfill so instead of having a green space in their backyard, they’re going to continue to have a landfill and there’s been homes up in that area that homes sales have fallen through because there’s still a landfill there and, you know, the Town wants to cap it as quickly as possible, so they’re incurring additional costs.  They want to get it done and over with as soon as possible, I don’t blame them because I think all the residents up there that call that area (inaudible)  are sick of dealing with it.   Like Council President Zeisz said the additional testing is good but it is time for people to start taking responsibility for their actions.  We teach our kids the same thing and it is time for others to step up and do the same.

 

Council President Zeisz – Another point with this whole situation with the landfill.  They have cleaned up other sites with less contamination.  We cleaned up one in the City of Tonawanda with less contamination than this.  It makes no sense to me.  I never understood how this could go on for all of these years. 

 

Marshall Banks – Could I make a comment?

 

Council President Zeisz – Just so everyone knows the comment period for the public is over but I do…it’s O.K.  Mr. Banks, it’s alright. 

 

Marshall Banks – Where I live at 132 Niagara Shore Drive there has been nothing but a vacant lot there at my front door for twenty-two years.  It is my understanding, I could be wrong, the City is suppose to clean that property up.  Many years ago there was some kind of lawsuit the City lost.  That has been like that for twenty-two years.  It is still like that today.  The builders, they cut the grass but they can’t cut it all because of all the rocks and stones that are there and you are talking about how somebody else should clean up their property but the City won’t clean it up.

 

Council President Zeisz – It is not the same thing. 

 

Marshall Banks – Well, I’m just saying….

 

Council President Zeisz – It is not the same thing.  We are talking about a property…

 

Marshall Banks - ….I know, it is in the Town of Tonawanda…

Council President Zeisz – What I am saying is this property back here, I know what you are talking about, the City has two lots that we have to clean up but they are filled with concrete, this is stone.  We are not talking about contaminated soil.  We are not talking about stuff that…

 

Marshall Banks - ….I’m just saying, ya know, there is something with piles of something with piles of stone….

 

Council President Zeisz - …and the City, when there has been building, has cleaned up the lots that needed to be cleaned up at that time. 

 

Marshall Banks - In other words, when they fill that…

 

Council President Zeisz - …and anyone up here can…

 

Marshall Banks - …when you clean up the lot?  I mean this is at my front door for the last 22 years.  That’s right at my front door, it’s a lot, garbage all over the place. 

 

Council President Zeisz - Well,…

 

Marshall Banks -…well I’m just saying…

 

Council President Zeisz -…I’m just saying, all right, you’ve asked your question, now I’m gonna answer it.  First of all, I don’t think the original intent 25 years ago for empty lots to sit here 25 years later.  That’s the first thing.  I don’t think that was ever the intent.  I think the original intent was to have the property all built up, many years ago.  And second of all, we cleaned up properties when they had to be cleaned up for construction of new homes.  About, probably about a year ago, I made the suggestion to this Council that we clean up the sites and get it over with.  The City Attorney, standing in the back of the room, he can…

 

Marshall Banks - …I believe you.  All I’m saying is 22 years ago they could have cleaned it up.

 

Council President Zeisz – It’s not that simple either.  We cleaned up sites probably about, and I’m just guessing, maybe about 5, 6 years ago we cleaned up some sites.  It cost the City in excess of $120,000 at that time to clean up a handful of sites.  We’re not talking about $1,000 bucks here, I mean, this is a lot of money to do this and I’m not saying it’s right that those properties have sat there.  I’m just telling you how it’s been, that it’s been one of those things, if there’s building, then we go in and clean up the properties, if we know they’re going to build. 

 

Marshall Banks – All I’m saying is, it’s been like that for 22 years and something could have been done in that length of time.  Whether you say 25,… 

 

Council President Zeisz - …I’m just going by when the contract for the original property was signed. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi - In terms of the grass and that sort of stuff, we already settled that in court recently and basically the current owners of the property are taking care of that grass and I guess my understanding….

 

Marshal Banks - ….what there is, there’s this big piles of stone, there’s a big ditch which the City dug to get rid of the asbestos, there was asbestos pipe in there and they dug it out but they never filled it in.  I mean that’s the way it is. 

 

Council President Zeisz – I’d have to check into that…

 

Marshall Banks - …and that’s what it is, it’s asbestos pipe which with a factory, there’s all kinds of that stuff. 

 

Council President Zeisz - That I would have to check into.  I’m don’t know about that.  

Marshall Banks – I can only say what I’ve seen with my own eyes and it was the City that dug it out. 

Council President Zeisz – Oh, I’m not disputing that, I’m just saying I’d have to look into that, I don’t know about that. 

 

Marshall Banks – But that’s all I’m saying, after that time of years, something could be done.  I know it’s going to be expensive, I understand that…

 

Council President Zeisz - …and I was just letting you know that we’re not expecting someone else to take care of our problem.  We’ve been doing it, it’s just that we’ve been doing it as we go.  But I wanted to get it over with and I’m still going to push to get them all cleaned up. 

 

Marshall Banks – I would appreciate it if they just cosmetic cleaned it up.  

 

Mayor Pilozzi – I’m not going to beat a dead horse when it comes to the landfill and all the problems over there, but I certainly agree with what’s been mentioned already.  If you look at the press release that the US Army Corps of Engineers came up with, they’re talking about doing a gamma walkover; they’ve done that already.  They’re talking about soil boring; they’ve done that already.  They’re talking about temporary wells to measure contamination; they’ve done all that already.  So, if they’ve done all that already and nothing has changed, they’re going to be spending a million dollars in taxpayer money even though it’s the federal government, regardless, I don’t see anything changing and I have to agree with Council President Zeisz and Councilmember Davis, it’s time to do the right thing and that is to get rid of it.  What really worries me is if they got rid of it tomorrow, there’s still contamination there called americium that was left by a private outfit and you’re going to get over one problem and have another one right behind it.  In one case it’s part of our industrial past, and in the other case, it’s part of winning World War II, the Manhattan Project, but regardless, it’s there, it shouldn’t be there. The consideration for health and safety for our citizens should be first, but I do want to recognize Senator Schumer, Senator Gilldebrand, for all their efforts.  As a matter of fact, if you look and switch gears over to the situation at the Tonawanda Coke Facility, on October 7th, there was a rally there.  I was there, I know Bill Poole was there, Legislator Michelle Iannello was there, Legislator Maria Whyte was there, a representative from Senator Thompson’s office was there, and it just goes to show you that sometimes people do listen but the people that need to listen are at the higher levels of government and so far, Senators Schumer and Gilldebrand have come to our aid.  It was mentioned that nobody has ever seen Don Crane.  I have and he’s a tough guy to deal with, you can tell by the fact that he’s just now coming to the forefront that he’s being pushed into that position. But at any rate, you have to congratulate the citizens that are getting involved with these issues.  In our case, it’s the CURE group for the landfill and the Clean Air Coalition for Tonawanda Coke.  It does go to show that, if you stick to it, you can get things done.  The Vigilant Guard, we did have a meeting last night, it was a good meeting, there was about 45 people there, a lot of good questions. I think it’s going to be an exciting experience.  If you look at the goals for Vigilant Guard, it’s training, and I mentioned this last night, it’s training and teamwork, it lends itself to good training that we’d probably never ever get the opportunity to receive, and the other thing is teamwork.  You have to know if the guy next to you is doing and what his job is, along with yours.  So that experience should be an excellent experience for our public safety folks and I certainly am looking forward to it and hopefully, it will come off without a hitch.  We did discuss some of the safety issues there and just so everybody knows, when you see helicopters flying, they’re not going to be flying over residential areas.  If they are, that means there really is an emergency and somebody has to be picked up at the site.  But the fact of the matter is, they’re going to be using Fireman’s Park to land for that particular exercise, and for safety reasons, not fly over residential areas of our City.  It was already mentioned, the fact that by the time we go to our next meeting, it will be after Veterans Day.  It was 39 years ago today, my oldest daughter was born; it was 39 years tomorrow I left for Viet Nam and there isn’t a minute that I don’t think of how grateful I am to be here sitting in front of you.  I was pretty seriously wounded in Viet Nam, almost didn’t make it, and that’s just one of many, many stories, and if you have a Veteran in your family, a friend or relative, make sure you thank them because, because of them we’re able to have this meeting tonight.  And the last thing is Halloween.  If you have children, make sure that they know it’s from 6:00 to 8:00 at night, we’re going to have a press release for that, it will probably be in the Tonawanda News, and there is going to be a bunch of items and hopefully it gets in that press release to make sure they’re safe.  That’s all I have.  Thank you very much.

 

Council President Zeisz – I don’t have anything further, unless I forgot my dates, I’m going to wish everyone Happy Veterans Day at the next Council meeting because we meet on November 10th and I thought it was the 11th, at least I always thought it was.  Anyway, have a great night, drive home safely, and God Bless you. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

208.     By Councilmember Waterhouse                              seconded by Councilmember Davis

            Resolved, that this Common Council adjourn until, November 10, 2009.  

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

 

 

 

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