Council Chambers

Tonawanda, New York

February 5, 2008

 

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

 

MAYORíS STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE MAYOR

 

A proclamation proclaiming March 13, 2008, as ďWorld Kidney DayĒ in the City of Tonawanda.

 

A correspondence from Erie County Legislator Lynn Marinelli, listing the major action items for the Erie County Legislature for 2008.

 

A letter from the President of DeGraff Memorial Hospital thanking the Mayor for being a part of keeping DeGraff Hospital a part of the community.

 

A letter from Erie County Legislator Michele M. Iannello to the President of the Power Authority of the State of New York regarding the Niagara River Greenway Fund Standing Committee appointment.

            Ordered filed

 

COMMUNICATION FROM CITY OFFICIALS AND CORRESPONDENCE

 

The following monthly reports were received by the City Clerk:

            December minutes of the Tonawanda Housing Authority

            December minutes of the Traffic and Safety Advisory Board

            December Executive minutes of the City Clerk

            January minutes of the Civil Service Commission

            January monthly report of the Building Inspector

                        Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                            Ordered filed

 

A letter dated January 29, 2008, from B.M.A. Consulting Services, Inc., regarding volunteer fire department insurance.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A letter dated January 28, 2008, from City Attorney Ronald C. Trabucco, to Wm. Schutt & Associates Engineering & Land Surveying, P.C., regarding the water plant site redevelopment project.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole        

 

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

 

34.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, at the recommendation of the City Engineer, Jason J. LaMonaco, P.E., the City purchase five refurbished portable flow meters with ancillary equipment from Pertech, Inc., at a cost of $15,983.00

 

Ayes: Perkins, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

35.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

Whereas, the Erie County Department of Social Services Program Contract for Senior Van Services between the City of Tonawanda and the County of Erie provides transportation services to high risk elderly residents, and

Whereas, the agreement requires, among other things, that the City of Tonawanda shall provide insurance coverage in the following amounts:

 

                        $ 500,000Comprehensive General Liability

                        $1,000,000 Automotive Liability

                        $1,000,000 Excess Umbrella Liability

                        Workers Compensation and Employers Liability

                        Disability Benefits

and

 

Whereas, the City of Tonawanda has primary insurance coverage with Humphrey and Vandervoort Inc./NYMIR and Public Employee Risk Management Association (PERMA) in the following amounts:

 

                        $1,000,000 Comprehensive General Liability

                        $1,000,000 Automotive Liability

                        $4,000,000 Excess Umbrella Liability

                        Workers Compensation and Employers Liability

                        Disability Benefits

 

Now, Therefore be it Resolved, that Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi be authorized to sign the agreement between the City of Tonawanda and the County of Erie for Senior Van Service for 2008.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

36.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that the Mayor be authorized and directed to sign an agreement with Independent CA Professionals, LLC for the purpose of voucher processing services for the Section 8 contract for the Tonawanda Towers project, at a cost of $300 per month to be paid with Tonawanda Towers Contract Administration fees. 

 

Ayes: Perkins, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

37.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Section 30-34 of the City Code, entitled Tax Certificates be amended to increase the fee for Tax Certificates to $10.00 each, effective January 1, 2008 and be it further

            Resolved, that Section 30-35 of the City Code, entitled Tax Receipts be amended to increase the fee for Tax Receipts to $1.00 each, effective January 1, 2008.

           

Ayes: Perkins, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

38.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that a certificate of insurance and bond for plumbers be filed and a license be issued for said plumbers to do business in the City of Tonawanda:  Hastings & Son, Inc. (Bernie K. Patcyk and Richard Lyons).

                       

Ayes: Perkins, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

39.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, a $25.00 Special Events application fee and application were received by the City Clerk for Wyattís Walk and

            Whereas, the application was reviewed and commented on by all appropriate department heads to insure the safety and well being of our residents, now, therefore be it

            Resolved, that permission be granted to the Wyatt Kyle Sutker Foundation to hold their annual Wyattís Walk for Spinal Muscular Atrophy along the Niagara River on May 3, 2008, and be it further

            Resolved, that the lavatories be opened in Veteranís Park on Saturday, May 3, 2008, at a fee of $50.00 for use by the walkers.

 

Special Events fee being charged:  $75.00 ($25.00 SEF, $50.00 shelter fee before parks open)

               

Ayes: Perkins, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

40.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

                        Whereas, a $25.00 Special Events application fee and application were received by the City Clerk for a Cystic Fibrosis Walk-A-Thon, and

                        Whereas, the application was reviewed and commented on by all appropriate department heads to insure the safety and well being of our residents, now, therefore be it

                        Resolved, that permission be granted to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to hold their annual Walk-A-Thon on Saturday, May 17, 2008, through various streets of the City.

                               

Ayes: Perkins, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

41.       By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

             WHEREAS, the City of Tonawanda back in 1998 purchased property located at 54 East Niagara Street situate in the City of Tonawanda with the understanding that this property was to be used by the City for future canal front development; and

            WHEREAS, the City has now determined that the property is no longer necessary for that purpose and it would be in the best interest of the City of Tonawanda to return the property to the tax rolls; and

            WHEREAS, General City law Section 23(2)(b) authorizes the City to sell its property, subject to certain conditions; now therefore be it

            RESOLVED, that the said parcel of land situate at 54 East Niagara Street in the City of Tonawanda, New York, be sold at Public Auction to be held at such time and place as may be determined; and be it further

            RESOLVED, that notice of said Public Auction be given at least once each week for three successive weeks in at least one newspaper of general circulation and that it be sold to the highest bidder at said Auction; and be it further

            RESOLVED, that the City retain the right to reject any and all bids; and be it further

            RESOLVED, that any and all costs associated with the sale and subsequent transfer to the successful bidder shall be borne exclusively by the Purchaser; and be it further

            RESOLVED, that such Public Auction will not be final until the adoption of a Resolution by this body approving the same.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

 

COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Nancy Paschen, 5 Main Street Ė I was wondering if you talked with the Canal Fest advisors anymore after last time you met with them.  Have you talked with them anymore? 

 

Council President Zeisz Ė No we havenít. 

 

COMMENTS FROM THE COUNCILMEMBERS AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Councilmember Davis Ė This past weekend, myself and the Mayor attended a grand opening at the Orange Farms Convenient Store.  Iíd just like to wish Mr. Daga the best of luck, moving forward, with not only the Orange Farm, but the whole Hinds Street Plaza thatís over there.  With Gary not being here, this would probably be his area to talk about, but on Sunday, for a young man named Nick, there will be a benefit at the Eldredge Club from 2:00 to 6:00 on Sunday.  The cost is $5.00, itís a spaghetti dinner.  This young man has come down with a rare form of leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant, so all the proceeds from the spaghetti dinner will go towards the monies that he will need for a bone marrow transplant.  So if youíre not doing anything on Sunday, please head out to the Eldredge Club.  Also this past weekend, myself, Jim and the Mayor attended the National Hose Reunion.  Iíd just like to thank them for putting on a nice party at short notice with the Frog Grill closing down.  They had a matter of days to set up a caterer and the fire hall in order to put on a very nice reunion dinner.  Iíd like to wish Councilman Waterhouse the best of luck with his surgery and hopefully he comes back here soon.  Just three quick things on the Mayorís State of the City, and I appreciate him taking the time to give that.  The insurance, I think both past and present City workers have made great strides in not only going down to a single health insurance carrier, but also the retirees switching over to this Medicare umbrella coverage which saves City taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in insurance. The Mayor brought up about the different lands that we have that arenít bringing in taxes to the City.  I think itís imperative that we move forward, and we are.  With water plant re-development, Spaulding Fibre, which will take a few years, and with Little League Development, hopefully by next Spring we can look at issuing an RFP for the Little League Development once the wetlands delineations and the boundary layer survey are completed.  And lastly is the landfill.  This is a big year for the landfill and Iím hoping weíll be pleasantly surprised with their record of decision; however, I hate to say it, but I kind of think that the Army Corps is just going to want to walk away from the problem, but try to remain optimistic, hopefully weíll get a decision from them sometime towards the end of this year.  And lastly, my condolences go out to Neal Myers, our head of DPW, and our Erie County Legislator Michele Iannello.  Both of them suffered deaths in their family this past week and like I said, Iíd like to ask you to keep them in your thoughts and prayers. 

 

Councilmember Kossow Ė Iíd also like to thank National Hose for inviting us, and like Rick mentioned, it was a very nice event. Those men and women provide a lot of time and energy to the City.  We honored one of the gentleman there that had 69 years as a volunteer with National Hose, so it was truly an honor to be part of that event that evening.  And also as Rick mentioned, we lost the Frog Grill being closed last week, so hopefully that will be re-opened shortly.  Hopefully it wonít be dark for too long. It just feels weird going by there seeing it not lit up.  With regards to the Mayorís State of the City Address, I think this year we have a lot to look forward to. As the Mayor pointed out, a couple projects, especially Spaulding Fibre, we should see a tremendous amount of work being done over the course of the next year with the monies obtained from the Restore New York and through Senator Clinton and Schumerís offices and also with the project at the water plant here, hopefully weíll be seeing that coming down, and the last thing with the development of the Little League property. Those types of projects, if we can continue to make progress on those, I think it will be a tremendous benefit to the City.  And lastly, as the Mayor pointed out, 70% of the Cityís budget goes towards the personnel, so I continue to pledge, and Iím sure the rest of the Council, to work with the Mayor to look for operational and personnel cost savings wherever we can. 

 

 

 

Mayor Pilozzi - I too would like to express my condolences to the Iannello family and Myers family for their loss and again, as was already mentioned, keep those two families in your thoughts and prayers, it would be appreciated.  First of all, thanks for bearing with me tonight, itís kind of a long report, but itís something that has to be said, but one thing, if you read between the lines in this report, it doesnít really truly measure the dedication of a lot of individuals.  The commitment that you see if you come by here at 6:00 at night, 7:00 at night and see lights still on, thatís commitment.  I saw that for 30 years at General Motors and I was always impressed in those days with people that would not leave Ďtil the job got done and we are blessed in the City of Tonawanda with a lot of people like that.  Many of them are sitting here, many of them had a big part in this report I just gave, so I want to thank them all, by name I wouldnít want to go through all the Department Heads because I think maybe that the key ones that had anything to do with this report are here. Thatís Don Witkowski, my Administrative Assistant, Joe Hogenkamp, and Judy Simon, Secretary, she probably got tired of making adjustments to this thing but all the Department Heads really have a big part in making this City work for the taxpayers and Iím proud of each and every one of them, and the employees too.  One thing I want to mention is, I put it on the High School radio, thereís going to be flu shots available Friday at the Senior Citizenís Center.  That flu shotís going to cost you $20 if you donít have insurance.  If you do have insurance you get it for whatever the insurance coverage is.  From 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon.  You can just walk in.  You donít need an appointment and again, Senior Citizenís Center, Friday the 8th.   We did get some good news about DeGraff Hospital.  That news was announced by State Health Commissioner, Dr. Richard Daines and that was his decision not to implement the Berger Commissionís directive that DeGraff be converted to a nursing home.  Thatís good news I think for our community and itís something that many, many people worked very diligently on, including Robin Schimminger who I received this correspondence from, so thatís a nice piece of work.  Another thing I mentioned in the State of the City was our effort for a Disaster Preparedness Plan that works for future emergencies.  Just today, I received this from our Chairman, Dick Barnard, and itís basically a little questionnaire that you can fill out.  There is a place at the bottom of the form, if you have a person thatís in a wheelchair, that needs oxygen, has Alzheimerís, any type of medical situation that we need to know in a disaster so that we can help these folks.  Itís important that you fill one of these out.  Theyíre in my office, if you need to get a copy of it, just stop by and see Judy, itís right on top of the file cabinet.  Judy, we should put some out there also so people donít have to walk through the magnetometer.  Itís important for our effort there.  Again, thank you so much for your attention, I looked up briefly, I didnít see anybody fall asleep, so I guess we did all right. 

 

Council President Zeisz Ė I too would like to offer my condolences to Michele Iannello and her family and also Neal Myers for the loss of a family member this week.  One thing Iíd like to throw out every once in a while, because it kind of gets brought up as a question from time to time, for people that donít normally come to Council meetings, youíre probably wondering how we sit up here and pass these resolutions and how we got to this point.  Every meeting we start at 6:00 P.M. and we usually meet anywhere from 6:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. when we do have Council meetings.  Most of the leg workís already been done.  Itís been discussed in the Caucus Room and then when we come out here on the floor we take feedback from the residents and then we go ahead with the resolutions.  Unlike what you may see on TV with the Amherst council meetings where their whole meeting is out on the floor for six hours of everyone fighting with each other over whoís going to get what resolutions out onto the agenda.  So anyone that is interested in our process, everyoneís more than welcome to join us when we meet.  We will be going back into the room after we leave the floor from the Formal Session and weíll talk about more City business coming down the road.  Other than that, I thank everyone for taking the time to be with us this evening, Iím sure at least some of you are anxious to go home and see the election results.  Thanks for coming.  Drive home safely and have a great night.  

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

42.       By Councilmember                                                            seconded by Councilmember

            Resolved, that this Common Council adjourn until February 19, 2008.  

 

Ayes: Perkins, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

 

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