Council Chambers

Tonawanda, New York

August 17, 2010

 

A Regular Meeting of the Common Council

 

Present:  Council President Zeisz

Present Councilmembers:  Boyle, Slisz, Poole

Excused:  Gilbert

 

Pledge of Allegiance led by Council President Zeisz

 

Prayer led by Council President Zeisz

 

PUBLIC HEARING

Mayor’s 2011 PROPOSED BUDGET

 

Council President Zeisz – The first order of business for tonight’s meeting is a Public Hearing on the Mayor’s proposed budget for 2011 and bare in mind that anyone that has not been here for a hearing on the budget, this is on what has been proposed by the Mayor’s Office, nothing has been changed or deleted by the Common Council.  This is strictly what has been submitted by the Mayor’s Office.  The budget itself calls for a 2.45% tax increase.

 

Robert Derner, 286 Niagara Shore Drive – I noticed in the budget there was no line provided for taking care of the assessments that were completed against Riveredge and that’s gonna have to be addressed and I wondered where this money’s gonna come from.  The assessment overcharge at Riveredge was $3,363,800.00.  For two years that was total of $6,749,029,600.  The total that the County, City and School has to pay back is $256,718.00 less any exceptions plus interest which usually comes around 9%, maybe less, I don’t know.  During the settlement, the City was able to get a $46,601.00 credit from seventy-seven of the homeowners over there, so the City has to pay back $57,925.55.  They also have to pay their lawyer and they also have to pay for their appraisals.  There’s nothing in the budget toward that and I’m wondering, where is the City gonna get this money from if it isn’t in the budget?  In addition, I should mention that the school also has to pay $115,775.27 and I want to know how your gonna come up with this money if it’s not in the budget.

 

Council President Zeisz - I think I’m gonna let the City Treasurer answer that.  I’m pretty sure I know the answer to this Mr. Derner.  Number one, the payment comes out of this year.  It’s not reflected in next year.  Next year, will reflect the new roll, so it wouldn’t be a factor for next year’s budget.

 

City Treasurer Joe Hogenkamp – First of all, Carl’s right, my anticipation is we’re gonna pay for all this out of the 2010 budget.  If I take you to page 5, for the attorney’s, you look at line 1355.462, Reassessment Property Expenses, we’ve been paying, this year we had budgeted $39,000, next year we have $35,000.  Some of that is for the consultant that’s updating our roll and the rest of that is for the appraisals and legal fees.

 

Bob Derner – The cost for updating the assessment rolls is $25,000 a year, isn’t that right? 

 

City Treasurer Joe Hogenkamp – Approximately.

 

Bob Derner – Why is his figure in with the legal fees for settling the assessments?

 

City Treasurer Hogenkamp – Because I think when we looked at this, or when I looked at it in terms of trying to establish an account, we combined those expenditures as expenditures relative to the whole project. 

 

Bob Derner – But he’s assessing the entire City, not just Riveredge. 

 

City Treasurer Hogenkamp – But it’s professional services that are related to the whole project.  If you look back, it’s a fee that we’re paying for what we anticipated was going to happen with the whole process.  We anticipated that there would be challenges, that there would be paybacks. 

 

Bob Derner – What I don’t understand is you anticipated $3,363,000 from eighty some homes at Riveredge?

 

City Treasurer Hogenkamp – Now we’ve got a bill in there for the meeting tonight for approximately $34,000, refunding the homeowners for the City tax in 2010.  That’s coming out of our contingency line on page seven, where we budgeted $100,000 for professional services.  That’s the refund that we refunded to the attorney for his going to, I assume dividing them up amongst the plaintiffs. 

 

Bob Derner - So in other words, you’re paying $100,000…

 

City Treasurer Hogenkamp - …no, we budgeted $100,000.

 

Bob Derner - Okay, budgeted $100,000, so you have it to spend it if you need it, right?  For attorneys, for an assessment, you overcharged people $58,000.  Wouldn’t it have been better to do a correct assessment of those properties and save that money?     

 

City Treasurer Hogenkamp – In the beginning?

 

Bob Derner – Yeah.

 

City Treasurer Hogenkamp – Well, we charged our Assessor with establishing values for those properties and the Council’s position was, let the process play itself out.  What we’re talking about now is part of the process.  Yes, there are going to be refunds, there’s bills in there tonight.  Hopefully that’s the end of this process for those people. 

 

Bob Derner - $256,000 for eighty some homes? 

 

City Treasurer Hogenkamp – You go to page seventeen.  The total assessment for the 2011 budget, last year was $597,000,000.  Next year it’s going up to $600,000,000.  That $597 includes what you’re talking about, it includes people that had a higher assessment for this year than they’re gonna have next year.  So the $600,000,000 includes the corrections to the roll based on this litigation that’s been recently settled.  So that includes the lower assessment figures for people at Riveredge. 

 

Bob Derner – And everybody else in the City is gonna be paying more taxes. In other words, you’re getting a 2.4% increase.  Everybody in the City’s gonna be chipping in now. 

 

City Treasurer Hogenkamp - Because your assessment went down, my assessment unfortunately went up, yes.  If my assessment stays at $120,000 this year, $120,000 next year, your assessment goes from whatever it was to whatever it’s going to be, yes, then proportionately, I’m going to be paying more.  

 

Ken Horn, 278 Rogers – I saw in the paper last week, that our sewer adjustment, I can’t remember exactly what it was, is a state mandate.  We’re supposed to be paying excessive.  Is that in this budget? 

 

Council President Zeisz – No.  The…

 

Ken Horn - …the sewer budget’s not included in this? 

 

Mayor Pilozzi – The kind of monies we were talking about for a sewer type project, you’re talking a multi-million dollar project.  Something like that definitely has to be bonded.  You’re not going to put that in a General Fund Budget. 

 

Ken Horn – In other words, that’s not gonna happen for a year or two.  

Mayor Pilozzi – We’ve been in early discussions with New York State DEC and the EPA and we submitted some things months ago, still waiting to get some answers, so right now, it’s a waiting game.  But the fact of the matter is, we looked across the State and across the Country, there’s many municipalities that are spending an exorbitant amount of money, I shouldn’t use the word exorbitant because it’s cleaning the water, it’s the legacy to our children and our children’s children, but the fact of the matter is, it costs a lot of money and that would definitely be bonded.  I think it was last year we raised the sewer rates by 5%, last year and then this year, only to keep up with what the costs are.  When Joe and I sit down and look at this budget, we try to be as conservative as possible and make sure we get enough money to cover the bills. 

 

Ken Horn – By the way, I agree with Joe’s very good service. 

 

Nancy Paschen, 5 Main Street – On the front page of the budget, 2001Recreational Earnings, that $51,981.00, what does that mean?   Like the hot dogs and stuff from the concerts?

 

Council President Zeisz – That’s everything. That’s the ID tags and any charges that go through the Recreation Department are included in that. 

 

Nancy Paschen – Would that be Parks then too?

 

Council President Zeisz – No, not Parks, just Recreation. 

 

Councilmember Boyle – Parks is the line right underneath it, Nancy.

 

Nancy Paschen – And the Youth Center.

 

City Treasurer Hogenkamp - The Youth Center is for like the snacks they set up, the vending and all that.  We try to catch that and identify that. 

 

Mandy Sampson, Luksin Drive – I’m just looking at the State Aid and we had discussed Luksin Drive and the pond back there.  I just don’t see on here where it says we got state aid for that.

 

Mayor Pilozzi – Sam, did we get a final answer on that $15,000 coming from New York State?  We’re talking about the ditch behind Millstream Village. 

 

Administrative Assistant, Sam Iraci – We asked for an extension of the contract and we’re waiting for the paperwork.

 

Mandy Sampson – I did see some work going on.

 

Mayor Pilozzi – We did secure, I think it was $15,000 from Assemblyman Schimminger’s Office, and you know how the State works, we didn’t have a budget for many months, but that’s gonna happen. 

 

City Treasurer Hogenkamp – A lot of times on the State grants, they’re kind of a work in progress, you don’t know when you’re getting them.  The project you’re talking about may very well be included in our (inaudible) in the near future.  When we receive the money, I will amend the budget, so this is a moving document.  This isn’t something that’s set, as a matter of fact there’s a couple of resolutions that have amended this year’s budget, but trying to sit here in July and August and figure out what kind of State grants we may or may not get next year, we know that things are gonna happen that we don’t know about yet, and at that point we would amend the budget.

 

Mayor Pilozzi - And another thing is, if you try to do the work ahead of time and contracts aren’t signed and that sort of thing, guess who eats it all.  So we have to be careful.    

 

 

 

Mandy Sampson – If you do it, I noticed you are maybe building walkways  Would there be a gate so people can’t walk behind is my concern.  So if you put a walkway on your side, it’s open and the public can walk back in there and I’m sure the residents in the area have a concern regarding this and so do I.

 

Mayor Pilozzi – My only concern at this point is number one, securing the funding, and also I don’t know if $15,000 will take us down the path you’re talking about but we’ll do our best. 

 

Public Hearing Declared Closed

 

BID OPENING: Gibson Street Improvements

                             August 11, 2010

                             10:00 A.M.

 

Robinson Paving, Inc.

PO Box 266

East Aurora, New York 14052                                                  Total:            $54,127.54

            Bid Bond and Non-Collusive Bidding Certificate accompanied bid

 

New Frontier Excavating & Paving, Inc.

8265 East Eden Road

Eden, New York 14057                                                                 Total:            $65,052.50

            Bid Bond and Non-Collusive Bidding Certificate accompanied bid

 

C & C Contractors, Inc.

1589 Bailey Road

Cowlesville, New York 14037                                                  Total:            $68,529.00

            Bid Bond and Non-Collusive Bidding Certificate accompanied bid

                        Ordered Filed

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE MAYOR

 

A letter from Thomas Dearing, Erie County Community Planning Coordinator, dated August 3, 2010 regarding vertical control points along the shoreline adjacent to the Riverwalk. 

 

A letter from Bethany Peacock, 5 Main Street dated August 4, 2010 volunteering to serve on one of the City Boards or Committees.

 

A letter from Thomas Goetz, operator of Stamps received August 4, 2010 regarding the sidewalk on Morgan Street and 98 Main Street.

 

A letter from United Way of the Tonawandas dated August 9, 2010 regarding the 14th Annual Niagara County Legislature Tees Off for the United Ways Golf Tournament on September 10, 2010.

            Ordered File

 

COMMUNICATION FROM CITY OFFICIALS AND CORRESPONDENCE

 

The following monthly reports were received by the City Clerk:

            July Activity Report of the Building Inspector

            July Monthly Report of the City Clerk

July minutes of the Traffic and Safety Advisory Board

August minutes of the Civil Service Commission

     Referred to the Committee of the Whole

            Ordered filed

 

A letter to Department Heads from City Attorney Ronald Trabucco dated August 3, 2010 regarding correspondence from Kristen L. McCrea who is requesting from the City, a proposed lease of a portion of the alley adjacent to her home at 60 Scott Street.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A letter from Dick Donovan, 71 Walter Avenue dated August 6, 2010 regarding the sidewalk in front of his house.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A letter to Dean Lilac, Jr. from City Attorney Ronald Trabucco dated August 10, 2010 appointing him Deputy City Attorney, effective immediately, term expiring December 31, 2011.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A Notice of Public Hearing from the Board of Appeals to be held on Monday, August 30, 2010 for a variance request to erect a new 14’ wide covered walkway between 532 and 574 Main Street.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A Notice of Public Hearing from the Board of Appeals to be held on Monday, August 30, 2010 for a variance request to erect a new singe-family dwelling at 54 East Niagara Street.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A Notice of Public Hearing from the Board of appeals to be held on Monday, August 30, 2010 for a variance request to erect a 21’ x 16.5’ garage in the rear yard at 41 Mullen Street.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A letter from Whitney K. Vantine, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools, dated May 21, 2010, asking about the estimated enrollment of families in the renovated HUD facilities on Hinds Street.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A letter from Happy Klein, 43 Luksin Drive, dated August 10, 2010, regarding the Greenway Plan and the planning of the pavilion.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                        Ordered filed

 

COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC ON RESOLUTIONS

 

Council President Zeisz - For everybody here tonight, I would like to acknowledge our new Deputy City Attorney, Dean Lilac.  He’s standing in the back of the room. We welcome him. 

 

There were no comments by the public on the resolutions.

 

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

 

221.     Councilmember Boyle                                       seconded by Council President Zeisz

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

 

Councilmember Slisz – Mr. Chairman, as much as the bills include payments in the lawsuit that I was involved with, I will abstain.

 

Ayes: Boyle, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Abstained: Slisz

Resolution declared adopted

           

222.     By Councilmember Poole                                       seconded by Councilmember Boyle

            Resolved, that permission be granted to the residents of Milton Street, between Dexter and Delaware Streets, to hold a block party on Saturday, August 28, 2010, from 2:00 PM. to 11:00 P.M. and be it further

 

 

            Resolved, that ingress and egress be provided for local traffic and emergency vehicles. 

 

Ayes: Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

223.     By Council President Zeisz                                     seconded by Councilmember Poole

            Resolved, that the Common Council authorizes a public online auction of unused/surplus vehicles and equipment to be conducted by Auctions International, Inc.  The bidding shall be open until August 31st and all final sales must be formally approved by Common Council resolution.

 

Councilmember Boyle – Something like this, any money that comes in, does it go into the General Fund?  Something like this, could we have a rainy day fund that if somebody needs something, there’s money there.  It goes back to even when we sold, when we bought that house on William Street, there’s money that was put aside, I thought, for the Fire Department, but now that went into the General Fund but that’s lost some place in there, right? 

 

City Treasurer Joe Hogenkamp – We’ve done it in the past, we did something a couple years ago when we sold the Lark, we established a Trust and Agency account and those monies went back into the reformation of the Underwater Squad.  You can do that but I mean, yes, if you aren’t gonna bring it up, it’s going to end up going into the General Fund unless you want it to go some place else.

 

Councilmember Boyle – I was just questioning, does it go in, like say, the Police Department has “x” and “x” they’re selling or something like that, okay.  They don’t need it any more.  Do you think it would be advantageous for us to take whatever surplus money is made from those kinds of things to go back into a separate line for like the Police Department, the Fire Department?

 

City Treasurer Hogenkamp – If you’re talking about something like that, you might want to put it in the Capital Fund to offset the long-term debt service cost of the vehicles that you’re buying to replace these things or financing a sewer truck, five, ten years, or financing  police cars over two years, or financing fire vehicles.  It might be the rainy day you’re talking about, in my mind, might be put it in the Capital Fund so that you don’t have to borrow as much to pay back the debt.  

 

Councilmember Boyle - I know that we’re not talking hundreds of thousands of dollars.

 

City Treasurer Hogenkamp - More to me, it’s more of if you buy a vehicle you get rid of one, you don’t want the mechanics having to fix vehicles that aren’t worth fixing.   

 

Ayes: Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

224.     By Councilmember Poole                                       seconded by Councilmember Boyle

Resolved, that the City of Tonawanda Common Council hereby schedules a public hearing on September 7, 2010, at 7.00PM, in Council Chambers, 200 Niagara Street, Tonawanda, New York to present and invite questions from the public, as part of the Common Council’s role as Lead Agency in the SEQRA process on the following: Proposed rezoning of the former Spaulding Fibre site, and a portion of surrounding areas, to a new Spaulding Commerce Park District; creation of a new Central Business/Retail District Overlay Zoning District, along with rezoning two adjacent parcels to the Central Business/Retail District from the current R-2 (General Residential District) and amendments to the City of Tonawanda Comprehensive Plan.

 

Ayes: Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

225.     By Councilmember Boyle                                       seconded by Councilmember Slisz

            Resolved, at the recommendation of the City Engineer, Jason J. LaMonaco, P.E., that award of the contract for Gibson Street Improvements be made to Robinson Paving, Inc. at a cost not to exceed $54,127.54.

 

Ayes: Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

226.     By Councilmember Slisz                                         seconded by Council President Zeisz

            Resolved, that the 2010 General Fund Budget be amended to account for the NYS Legislative Initiatives Project Grant #LG10-1165-D00 to be applied towards the cost of replacing the Police Department Animal Control Vehicle

 

EXPENSE  001-3120-201            Police Dept Vehicles                                       ADD $10,000

REVENUE 001-0001-3390    NYS Police Equipment Reimbursement            ADD $10,000

 

NET BUDGET EFFECT                                                                                           -$0-

 

Ayes: Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

227.     By Council President Zeisz                                     seconded by Councilmember Poole

            Resolved, that permission be granted to the Niagara Frontier Boat Racing Association to borrow several sections of the surplus 6.5’ X 16’ floating docks that are located outside of the City of Tonawanda Department of Public Works building to be used for hydroplane races on August 21st and August 22nd, 2010, at Gratwick Riverside Park in North Tonawanda and be it further

            Resolved, a Certificate of Insurance naming the City of Tonawanda as additional insured and a Hold Harmless and Indemnification Agreement be presented to the City Clerk no later than August 19, 2010, and be it further

            Resolved, that any overtime cost incurred by the City of Tonawanda shall be paid by the Niagara Frontier Boat Racing Association.

 

Ayes: Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

           

COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Nancy Paschen, 5 Main Street – I see that they had a cook-out over the weekend, over at Young Street there, that barbeque.  Now, did Tonawanda make anything on that or did it all go to North Tonawanda? 

 

Council President Zeisz – Not that I’m aware of, no.

 

Nancy Paschen – We just close off Young Street, (inaudible) I don’t know.

 

Mayor Pilozzi – I’m not sure that any money came back to us directly, just not sure but I could find out for you.

 

Nancy Paschen – The reason I ask is because they wouldn’t sell nothing on this side.  We had to go to the North Tonawanda to buy it.  This is why I was asking if Tonawanda made anything at all. 

 

Ken Horn – Carl, I am still trying to find out the final cost of Canal Fest to the City of Tonawanda. 

 

Council President Zeisz - It’s about $1,200 difference for the actual overtime labor costs.  Last year it was $24,500 and this year it’s $25,703 and I was pretty sure it was about $1,000.  Now, that is just pure dollars for overtime.  That doesn’t include the benefits that are attached to that overtime which the estimate by the City Treasurer is another $7,200 for benefits that are attached to that overtime.  Now, as far as the actual variance from this year to last year, the total is $1,800. 

 

Ken Horn - Still, how much did it cost the City and will we be reimbursed? 

 

Council President Zeisz – If we use all the numbers, and when I say that, that’s based on the use of City equipment, road maintenance wear and tear, and this year’s case damage to a police vehicle.  There’s also money in there for management cost.  If I use all those numbers, it comes to $41,862, and the reimbursement from Canal Fest if $18,000. 

 

Ken Horn - So, it’s still costing the City $23,000 year to have this event that we’re really not sure if it helps the City, financially.  Also, did we check the arrests compared with N.T.? 

 

Police Chief Ivancic - Yes we did.

 

Council President Zeisz - What is that Chief?

 

Police Chief Ivancic – They had zero.  We had fourteen. 

 

Ken Horn - I hate to imply that the youth were related.  Were they youth related Chief?

 

Police Chief Ivancic – It depends on what you mean by youth.  Under 25, I’d say yes. 

 

Council President Zeisz – But just so that everybody understands, when he says there’re fourteen arrests, now obviously there was one very serious situation, but in terms of other years, that is a low number. 

 

Police Chief Ivancic - Last year it was twenty-nine.

 

Council President Zeisz – And I remember one year, it was over fifty.  So this is a low year, of course, N.T. always seems to have that same low number.  Zero.

 

Ken Horn - I still believe that, I’m not 100% sure it is non-profit but even if they’re not non-profit, Rides for Rochester for sure is a for-profit organization.  How much did they get out of this event?  And the other thing on the budget, I know we got some State aid in our future budget but I hate to say our Assemblyman, I understand took a million dollars of his pork money, Ed Gebera would love that but he’s not here, he gave it to New York City.  Is there any way to make Robin accountable for what he gives away of our pork money to another community? 

 

Council President Zeisz – There’s one true way to hold someone accountable and I think everybody knows what that is.  The reality is, we put in requests, multiple requests to our Senators, to our Assemblyman, every year.  Sometimes, just from the Mayor’s Office, sometimes from the Mayor and the Council. 

 

Ken Horn - I remember that very well Carl.  We planned what we could.  It seems like some of our local State representatives aren’t doing what’s right for the City of Tonawanda or the Town of Tonawanda or the City of Buffalo.  They have money available but they seem to be giving it away to other people.  You’re right, we should hold them accountable. 

 

Mandy Sampson – I just wanted to find out, an update on the extension of Luksin Drive.  Anything further on that?

 

Council President Zeisz – Not at this point.  Actually, myself and Mr. Gilbert had a conversation last week about working with the Council to incorporate it into the Capital Plan for next year.  Now, when we pass the budget, the Capital Plan is part of that budget.  2011, obviously is the budget year and the Capital Plan year, so whatever is in the Capital Plan, the goal would be to get that done that year.  The only thing we’re not sure of at this point in time is really the cost that we’re looking at.  In the past I’ve heard numbers as high as $275,000 to open that up.  Now that’s DOT, so, what it’s actually going to cost, I’m not exactly sure at this point but it is something that myself and Mr. Gilbert are looking to talk to the Council about for next year. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi - There’s an old saying, “God helps those who help themselves”, and when you go through the NY DOT, that number gets inflated something terrible.  I know tearing out some guard rails and extending some blacktop is not $275,000 but you have to remember one other thing, they control that highway and that signal, so you have to play the ballgame in their ball park.  I do think, and I agree with Council President Zeisz, that we should be looking at trying to do it ourselves because it will get done quicker and a lot cheaper, if they allow us to do it. 

 

Council President Zeisz - That’s the question.  I mean, we have full faith in our department to do it, all anybody has to do is look at where the hump was on State Street.  We can do it, that’s not an issue.

 

Mandy Sampson – It’s an ongoing problem with the traffic at that stop light and that area and I think (inaudible) so I hope you guys can continue to work it out.   

 

Council President Zeisz – My concerns are the signals and hopefully we can work that out in such a fashion that it’s going to work, at least the best that it possibly can if that were to come back to a four way.  But we’re working on it.

 

Mandy Sampson - I have one more question.  It has to do with the property behind the High School.  I’ve heard that the City has big plans of building residence.  Can you tell me a little about that and what’s going to happen?

 

Council President Zeisz – What’s happened today is, we went through an RFP process, we put out requests for proposals to builders interested in developing a portion of land between Fletcher, Vet’s Park, and the High School and about, not real good on the timing, but I’m gonna guess about two months ago, maybe not quite, we designated Natale Builders as the develop for that property and what’s happening now is that his company is in the process of putting together design and housing plans for that area which we will probably be looking at approximately fifty-five new homes in that area.  Going by the numbers that we were given at the time, we’re probably looking at homes in the range of about $160,000 to $200,000 each.

 

Mandy Sampson – Do you find that feasible, I mean, people are leaving the City and population in the school district is decreasing, I just don’t see that area being a place for everybody to buy a house.  I am from the City and I just see people leaving and their looking for a cheaper home.  I have a couple around the corner that my son and her son play together and they’re moving to South Carolina because it’s cheaper.  I just don’t see and or understand why you decided to build homes there because there is Vet’s Park that the City of Tonawanda uses and also the school district uses for our children.

 

Council President Zeisz – No, no, no.  This does not affect any of the used land today. 

 

Mandy Sampson - It doesn’t affect the fact that the soccer league play games there.

 

Council President Zeisz – No, no.  This is up in the field, next to the park and it basically starts at the drive where there used to be baseball years and years ago, the National Little League, it starts there and goes up into the are that’s mostly field.  It doesn’t affect any of the ball diamonds, it doesn’t affect anything that’s used right now, it doesn’t affect Vet’s Park as it is today, it doesn’t affect any of the used land today. 

 

Ken Horn – One other concern I had was on Main Street, I don’t know if it was Canal Fest of what but there’s a series of pot holes on both sides of Main Street that if someone walks off the step, there’s a good chance of spraining an ankle.    

 

Councilmember Boyle – I think it’s probably where the receivers are. 

 

Council President Zeisz – Yeah, I think so too.

 

Councilmember Boyle - Is it where the drains are?

 

Ken Horn – No, on Main Street between Broad and Adam.  I don’t know what caused these little pot holes, if I go over for a sub I don’t want to fall and break an ankle.  Should someone start writing a complaint for each one of them it would make the City liable. 

 

Council President Zeisz –  I think Mayor Pilozzi is going to address it with DPW.  I just want to make a couple other comments about your questions regarding the development.  From the City’s standpoint, we’re looking at a means to bring in more revenue to the City.  We’re looking at a way for people that want to stay here, but they want a new home to do that.  From our standpoint, that land has sat there for basically our entire life and a good portion of that land is a field, so from the City’s standpoint, this is not gonna cost the City any money, we’re not paying for infrastructure.  Contrary to some of the articles that have been in Soundoff where people try to spread untruths, we’re not paying for the infrastructure.  The developer is paying for it.  Now, is this project actually gonna come to fruition?  I can’t say that.  We haven’t even turned the land over to the developer yet.  Right now, it’s in a design phase but it’s built right into the agreement how much, approximately, every homeowner is going to pay about $40,000 for the land and that’s for sidewalks, streets, curbs, lighting, just like anyone would pay anywhere else if a new street was built.  So, the City will be compensated to some degree for that land but there   is not going to be any outlay of cash.  So, assuming the project goes, and from what I’ve been witnessing in some other communities, people are willing to spend the money and that’s in a good location, by the park, by the River, by the school.  I mean, from a location standpoint, it is a really nice location. 

 

COMMENTS FROM THE COUNCILMEMBERS AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Councilmember Poole – First of all, my heart-felt condolences to Councilman Gilbert and his family, and then I’d like to speak just a moment to the $23,000 shortfall from Canal Fest as it has been put.  I think we need to remember that there are twenty plus service organizations on the Tonawanda side who benefit from Canal Fest. The American Legion alone, of which I am a member, probably gave back more than $23,000 to the community in a year’s time.  And then when you add in such prestigious organizations as the Knights of Columbus and the various churches in the City and all of the other various organizations of what they give back to the City, certainly far exceeds that $23,000 shortfall and so I think that pretty much takes care of it.  Thank you very much. 

 

Councilmember Slisz – No comment.

 

Councilmember Boyle – Another thing going back to the Vet’s Park development.  There was article in the paper about Soundoff saying that, well don’t they know that we just closed a school, why would we want to try to draw any more people into the City of Tonawanda?  It’s like, number one, I don’t think it’s the Council’s responsibility to fill the school district.  It’s our responsibility as a fiscal body to try to do anything to offset 2.45% for our budget.  Another thing that bothered me, about a month ago, Mr. Poole sat up here and said how good the Police Department did at Canal Fest, they did an excellent job, the Fire Department did an excellent job and then he sat up here and he blasted the DPW.  I just gotta say something.  If anybody went down there and walked, garbage was overflowing but I think what that does, if you look at it, something really has to be looked at to try to stretch it out so our guys could have gotten in there and tried to get the garbage dumped.  If you look at it also, you have these vendors that are just dragging these garbage cans for their own specific use.  Be it the pull-tabs, be it the people that are having their own little selling stuff and things like that.  I ended up talking to Carl and I said, we gotta get somebody down here to try and dump the garbage.  Well, number one, when you have thousands and thousands of kids and people, how are you gonna get a garbage truck down there?  I think by maybe looking at where the rides are, I think it’s really time that we looked at maybe trying to split the rides, let N.T. have some to try to stretch it out so if the DPW does have to get down there to empty the garbage, they can do that.  My hat goes off to the DPW guys because if you go down there the following day, they’re down there dumping garbage, but they can get down there because there’s not all these people.  I just wanted to go on record to say that everybody did a fantastic job, DPW did a fantastic job, Police did and Fire.  With that, thank you very much Mr. President.

 

Council President Zeisz – Just to elaborate just for a second on what Mr. Boyle said, and when I had a conversation with our Superintendent on the amount of garbage cans, for anyone that did go down to Canal Fest, I don’t know if you have any idea how many cans are down there, but we had eight-five totes down there during the week.  That’s a lot of totes for garbage, but unfortunately, a lot of them are not getting used the way they were meant to be used and for the craft show weekend, there was over one hundred totes, so it’s a difficult thing, especially there are certain areas where the garbage obviously is more prevalent than other areas, but there is a lot of totes down there.  

 

Mayor Pilozzi – In the last month or so, I’ve had a couple of meetings with an organization out of Erie County called Rails to Trails.  If everybody thinks of that band of line that goes behind B.J.’s and down Young Street, that’s being looked at by Erie County and the municipalities that are in between North Buffalo, Town of Tonawanda and ourselves for something similar to what we call the Riverwalk.  I’m not sure where that’s gonna go, apparently there’s two point some million dollars allotted for that project, I’ll try and keep everybody informed, but I gotta tell you, that’s one of those projects that I was informed about I think it was in 2006-2007 and we’re just now talking about it again, but you never know.  Spaulding Fibre.  I talked to our Engineer this morning, apparently there’s two small spots that need some work in terms of remediation, we’re in pretty good shape there.  It’s hard to believe and envision 890,000 square feet of manufacturing space that was abandoned and all of sudden you’re looking at some property that, in terms of development, is offering this community forty-seven acres to do that, so hopefully in the near future, once we the planning and zoning in place to protect the City, protect the neighborhood, that we can go out for RFP’s on that.  In addition to the demolition project we see behind City Hall the old water plant and when that’s done, we’ll cross the road to the old sewage treatment plant.  So there’s a lot of demo going on and once that’s cleared up, hopefully, even though it’s kind of a down economy right now, sometimes you get lucky and because people are willing to come forward and build under the right circumstances.  Pedestrian crosswalks.  I know in talking in the Caucus Room before coming out here, that those pedestrian crosswalks apparently were talked about several years ago, but I was approached by Cory Schuler’s dad, I think it was in the Fall, I can’t remember, and somehow it got put on the back burner and I have to apologize to him because it was pretty easy after you energize the right people, namely our Police Chief and Jeff Schultz back there, they came to see me in my office and within days, we had it up.  It seems to be working pretty good.  Right now they’re at where Old Man River is, you’ll see it on Niagara Street, and the other location on Main Street at Adam Street.  So hopefully they’ll make those intersections a little safer.  DPW and Canal Fest.  I have to take issue with Councilman Poole too because I can tell you this, in the morning, all during Canal Fest, I usually go through downtown and see the condition of downtown and our DPW did a great job under very difficult circumstances.  I had to take my wife to Buffalo airport on Thursday morning of Canal Fest and she had to be there at 4:00 in the morning, so I happened to be right in the center of Canal Fest intersection, basically where the bank is, at 4:30 A.M. and there wasn’t anything to be found on the road, it was clean as a whistle and it looked like that every morning.  In addition, the Police, I do agree with Councilman Poole about the Police Department.  I think that’s probably because our Police Chief was up top where Nancy Paschen lives.   The Fire Department did an excellent job.  Everybody did an excellent job at Canal Fest.  There’s a lot of discussion about how much did it cost the City, how much does Canal Fest Inc. give back to the City to help defray costs.  My guess is when you have some halfway intelligent people sitting down at a common table and try to figure out how to make things better, we’ll be working on that.  My concern is that we do it soon, rather than March or April or June of next year, and I know there’s going to be meeting with Debbie on the 29th.  I plan to be there and hopefully (inaudible). I’d like to share everybody else’s sentiments on the Gilbert family.  Ever since I lost my brother the first week in June, since then it’s been downhill, there’s been a lot of death and unforeseen circumstances, our Administrative Assistant lost his son, the Gilbert family is crushed, so keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Council President Zeisz - Thank you Mayor Pilozzi.  All of you have a great night, drive home safely, and God Bless. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

228.     By Councilmember                                                            seconded by Councilmember

            Resolved, that this Common Council adjourn until, September 7, 2010.  

 

Ayes: Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to CITY OF TONAWANDA web page