Re-organizational Meeting

Council Chambers

Tonawanda, New York

January 5, 2010

 

The Common Council convenes pursuant to Division 3, Section 2.045 of the City Charter.

 

Council President Carleton R. Zeisz seats the new Council.

 

Roll Call:            Councilmember 1st Ward   Charles M. Gilbert

                        Councilmember 2nd Ward   Blake R. Boyle

                        Councilmember 3rd Ward   Richard A. Slisz

                        Councilmember 4th Ward   William R. Poole

 

The City Clerk reads the following acceptances and oaths of the officers elected at the last General Election held on November 3, 2009.

 

                        Councilmember 1st Ward   Charles M. Gilbert

                        Councilmember 2nd Ward   Blake R. Boyle

                        Councilmember 3rd Ward   Richard A. Slisz

                        Councilmember 4th Ward   William R. Poole

Ordered filed

 

Pledge of Allegiance and prayer led by Council President Zeisz

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE MAYOR

 

A letter to Alice Roth, 60 Morgan Street, dated December 16, 2009 reappointing her to the Planning and Zoning Board term to expire December 31, 2014.

 

A letter from Don Holler, 259 Utica Street, dated December 14, 2009, updating the Mayor on the proposed skate park.

 

A letter to Gary Franklin, Vice President of Administration of the United Way of the Tonawandas, dated December 21, 2009, asking to be notified when Mr. O’Neil’s position in the United Way has been filled.

 

A letter from Harris Beach Attorney’s at Law, dated December 18, 2009, regarding the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, OMFS Properties LLC, Project Address:  711 Young Street.

 

A letter to Mark Doane, 151 Dexter Street, dated January 4, 2010 reappointing him to the Board of Appeals term to expire December 31, 2014.

 

A letter to Ronald Ensminger, 334 Fletcher Street, dated January 4, 2010 reappointing him to the Waterfront Revitalization Board, term to expire December 31, 2010.

 

A letter to Frank Grandinetti, 327 S. Ellicott Creek Rd., dated January 4, 2010 reappointing him to the Plumbing Board term to expire December 31, 2012.

 

A letter to David McCormick, 613 Niagara Street, dated January 4, 2010 reappointing him to the Community Development Agency term to expire December 31, 2013.

 

A letter to Mark Saltarelli, 156 Delaware Street, dated January 4, 2010, offering his sincere appreciation for his service on the Community Development Agency.

 

A letter to Mark Warren, P.O. Box 361, dated January 4, 2010 reappointing him to the Community Development Agency term to expire December 31, 2013.

 

A letter to Joseph Ulanowski, 52 Dexter Street, dated December 29, 2009 reappointing him to the Waterfront Revitalization Board term to expire December 31, 2010.

A letter to Christine Pilozzi, 82 Clinton Street, dated December 29, 2009 reappointing her to the Community Development Agency term to expire December 31, 2013.

 

A letter to Christine Pilozzi, 82 Clinton Street, dated December 29, 2009 reappointing her to the Waterfront Revitalization Board, term to expire December 31, 2010.

 

A letter to Lloyd Long, 85 Erie Street, dated December 29, 2009 reappointing him to the Waterfront Revitalization Board term to expire December 31, 2010.

 

A letter to Donald Voisinet, 437 S. Niagara Street, dated December 28, 2009 reappointing him to the Waterfront Revitalization Board term to expire December 31, 2010.

 

A letter from Empire State Development, dated December 18, 2009, regarding Tonawanda – RESTORE III – Spaulding Fibre Demolition, Project #W851.

 

A letter from Empire State Development dated December 21, 2009, regarding Tonawanda - RESTORE III – Spaulding Fibre Demolition Project Public Hearing being held January 6, 2010.

 

A letter from Time Warner Cable dated December 15, 2009, regarding various cable issues.

 

A letter from Time Warner Cable dated December 31, 2009, regarding their ongoing effort to keep the City apprised of developments affecting subscribers.

            Ordered filed

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM CITY OFFICIALS AND CORRESPONDENCE

 

The following monthly reports were received by the City Clerk:

            October activity report of the Fire Department

October minutes of the Waterfront Revitalization Board

            December minutes of the Board of Appeals

December report of the Building Inspector

December report of the City Clerk

December minutes of the Civil Service Commission

            December minutes of the Traffic and Safety Advisory Board

            December minutes of the Waterfront Revitalization Board

            2009 yearly report of the Building Inspector

            2009 yearly report of the City Clerk

                        Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                            Ordered filed

 

An announcement from the Civil Service Commission for an examination being given on March 6, 2010, for the departmental promotion of Police Chief, the last date to file the application February 3, 2010.

 

A letter from Ralph F. Burtch dated January 4, 2010, announcing his retirement from the City as of January 29, 2010.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                        Ordered filed

 

COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC ON RESOLUTIONS

 

Bill Kinmartin, 157 Grove Street – Number 16, Vets Park Shelters, the small shelter, only $10, not too bad but the large shelter going up $20, for residents $40 non-residents, seems a little excessive in this economy.  I hope the new members and the President think twice about it.   

 

Council President Zeisz – Thank you Mr. Kinmartin. 

 

 

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

 

1.         By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that all departments and department functions in existence as of December 31, 2009, as long as they are not inconsistent with the current Charter, are hereby ratified as provided in Article 3, Division 1, Section 3.005 of the City Charter.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

2.         By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that the Rules and Orders for the Government and Procedures of the Common Council of the City of Tonawanda for the years 2010-2011 are hereby adopted.

 

RULES AND ORDERS FOR THE GOVERNMENT AND PROCEDURES

OF THE COMMON COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TONAWANDA

FOR THE YEAR 2010-2011   

 

PREFACE

 

The Councilmembers of the City of Tonawanda and the President of the Common Council shall constitute the Common Council, and the President of the Common Council shall be the presiding officer thereof.

 

REGULAR MEETINGS

 

            Regular meetings of the Common Council shall be held in the Council Chambers on the first and third Tuesdays in each calendar month; such regular meetings shall convene at 7 o’clock P.M.  Regular meetings shall be open for the transaction of any business which may properly come before the Council.  Dates and times of regular meetings may be adjusted by the majority vote of the Common Council.           

 

ORDER OF BUSINESS

 

            At the hour appointed for the meeting of the Council, the President shall call the meeting to order, and direct the Clerk to call the roll, the Clerk recording the names of all Councilmembers present and noting the absentees.  If a quorum is not present, absent members shall be sent for in the manner prescribed by law.

 

            1.  Roll Call by the City Clerk

           

2.  Pledge to the flag

           

3.  Opening prayer

           

4.  Results of bid openings

           

5.   Communications from the Mayor

 

6.  Communications from City Officials and Correspondence

           

7.  Presentation of Petitions

 

8.  Resolutions to be acted on by the Common Council at its Regular Meeting shall be submitted by the appropriate Department Head and/or Mayor’s Office to the City Clerk’s Office no later than 3:00 P.M. on the Thursday preceding the meeting.  Said draft resolutions will be delivered to the members of the Common Council by e-mail, mail or personal delivery no later than the Saturday preceding the meeting.  Any Councilmember having objection and or questions to said resolutions shall consult with the Department Head.  Objections to the resolutions shall be conveyed to the Council President and City Clerk expeditiously.  Resolutions submitted past the deadline will not be considered unless deemed by the majority to have such urgency.

9.  There will be a 30 minute maximum allowable time limit for the presentation of resolutions and comments on same by the public.  Said time limit may be modified due to Common Council schedule.  The President may entertain questions or comments within the above stated time limit.  Additional questions or comments may be submitted in writing.  This rule may be waived or modified by a majority vote of the Council.

 

10.  Motions and Resolutions

 

11.  Comments by the General Public - there will be a 30 minute maximum allowable time limit - said time limit may be modified due to Common Council schedule.  The President may entertain questions or comments per person within the above stated time limit.  Additional questions or comments may be submitted in writing.  This rule may be waived or modified by majority vote of the Common Council.

 

12.  Closing remarks by members of the Common Council.

 

13.  Adjournment

 

Note:  With respect to written questions or comments referred to in numbers 9 and 11 above, responses will also be in writing done in a timely manner.

 

DUTIES OF THE PRESIDING OFFICER

 

            The President of the Common Council, as Presiding Officer, shall possess the powers and perform the duties as herein prescribed, viz:

 

            1.  He shall preserve order and decorum

 

            2.  He shall decide all questions of order, subject to appeal to the Common Council.  On every appeal he shall have the right in his place to assign his reason for his decision; but any member may state the grounds for his appeal.

 

            3.  He shall, with the consent of the Council, have the right to invite to the floor, and to extend the privilege of addressing the Council, to such persons as shall request the privilege. 

 

            4.  The President may vote on any question submitted to the Common Council. 

 

            5.  The Common Council President may introduce or second any matter that can come before the Common Council.

 

            6.  He shall be the ex-officio member of all committees.

 

            7.  He shall appoint all committees, chairmen of said committees and determine the number of members of all committees.

 

STANDING COMMITTEES

 

            Standing committees shall be appointed by the Common Council President at the first regular meeting of the Council each year, or as soon thereafter as practical.

 

RULES

 

            1.  Every member of the Common Council, when he speaks, shall address the presiding officer as “Mr. President”, and shall not proceed until recognized.

 

            2.  The Presiding Officer shall call for a voice vote of the body, or the Clerk shall, upon order of instruction from the Presiding Officer, call the ayes and nays on all questions by law required, which shall be entered upon the minutes of the Council.  If any member requires it, on any questions, a like call shall be made, and the result likewise entered.  In calling ayes and nays on any question, the members shall be called in the following order:  Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole.  The Council President shall vote last.  Exception:  A motion to “waive the reading” shall be voted on by a voice vote of the body, aye or nay.

 

            3.  Every member shall vote when a question is stated from the Chair, unless excused by the Chair after stating substantial reason and or conflict of interest.

 

            4.  When two or move members rise at the same time, the Presiding Officer shall name the one who is first to speak.

 

5.  Any member may be called to order, in which case the member so called to order shall immediately sit down, the point of order shall be stated at the request of the Presiding Officer, by the member raising the question of order, and shall be decided without debate, before proceeding to other business.

 

            6.  If any question contains several distinct propositions, it shall be decided by the chair at the request of any member but a motion to strike out and/or insert shall be indivisible.

 

            7.  Any member may have any paper in possession of the Council read, unless the reading of the same shall be objected to by some other member, and then question shall be determined by a vote of the Council, without debate.

 

            8.  Every member, upon presenting a petition, memorial, resolution or other paper, shall move some action thereon.

 

            9.  All petitions or other papers addressed to the Council shall be considered by the Common Council.

 

             10.  A motion to amend or amendments, lay on the table, or for the previous question, shall be decided without debate, and all question of order, and all questions relating to the order of business, shall be decided without debate.  The several motions to postpone, or refer, shall preclude all debate on the main question.

 

            11.  When a question has been once put and decided, it shall be in order for any member who voted with the majority to move for the reconsideration and possible rescinding of that question.

 

            12.  A motion for reconsideration, if lost, shall not again be repeated at the same meeting of the Council, nor shall any question be reconsidered more than once.

 

            13.  When a question is pending, no motion shall be received, except as hereinafter specified, and these shall have preference in the order stated, viz:

 

                        A.  For an adjournment of the Council

                        B.  To lay on the table

                        C.  For the previous question

                        D.  To postpone indefinitely

                        E.  To postpone to a certain day

                        F.  To refer to a standing committee

                        G.  To refer to a special or select committee

                        H.  To amend

 

            14.  After the roll call upon any question has been commenced, no member shall speak on the question, nor shall any motion be made until after the result is declared.

 

            15.  Upon the presentation of any claim or account, it shall be referred to the Audit Committee, and no account or claim shall be audited or allowed until it shall be examined and reported on by said committee.

 

            16.  A majority vote or more of the whole Council and not a majority of the members present shall be necessary to the appointment of any person to any appointed office.

            17.  Every motion which shall have been offered shall be distinctly stated by the City Clerk, upon being seconded and before being debated, shall be reduced to writing by the City Clerk, upon request of the Presiding Officer or any member of the Council.  It may be withdrawn at any time before decision, commitment, or amendment by majority consent.

 

            18.  No standing rule or order of the Council shall be repealed, rescinded, or changed except by an affirmative vote of at least three members of the Council; nor shall any new rule be added thereto, except by a like vote; but they may be suspended at any time by the consent of the majority of the whole Council.

 

            19.  Whenever any question not covered by these rules arise, this Council shall be governed by the majority rule of the Common Council.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

3.         By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Janice R. Bodie, Clerk-Typist in the City Clerk’s Office, be given the duties of City Clerk for the City of Tonawanda, effective January 1, 2010, with the additional annual stipend of $21,200.00, term to expire December 31, 2011.

 

Councilmember Boyle – I had the privilege of working with Jan for six years and if there’s somebody that’s a true professional it is Jan and I just want to reiterate what the Council President said in chambers in there is that she’s not a Democrat, Republican, Blank, she is just somebody that’s out for the City and if you need anything, Janice will be there to help you and it’s a privilege and an honor to keep working with her.

 

Council President Zeisz – Well I did make some comments in the workshop section about Jan and what it’s been like to work with her for all these years and it goes without saying, she’s done a great job and I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that and also the fact that she’s a dear friend.   

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

4.         By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that at the recommendation of the City Clerk, Kathleen R. Greenawalt, Clerk-Typist in the City Clerk’s Office, be appointed Deputy City Clerk for the City of Tonawanda, effective January 1, 2010, with the additional annual stipend of $ 2,908.00, term to expire December 31, 2011.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

5.         By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Janice R. Bodie be appointed Registrar of Vital Statistics for the City of Tonawanda, said two year appointment to expire December 31, 2011.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.         By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Kathleen R. Greenawalt be appointed Deputy Registrar of Vital Statistics for the City of Tonawanda, said two year appointment to expire December 31, 2011.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

7.         By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Holly M. Batt be appointed Sub-Registrar of Vital Statistics, term to expire December 31, 2011. 

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

8.         By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, the Charter of the City of Tonawanda no longer requires that the Common Council designate an official newspaper for the City, and

            Whereas, the Common Council has determined that designation of an official newspaper is in the best interest of the City, therefore be it

            Resolved, that the Tonawanda News is hereby designated as the official newspaper of the City of Tonawanda for the years 2010-2011.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

9.         By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that this Common Council does hereby designate the First Trust Office, HSBC, and the Broad Street Office, Manufacturers and Traders Trust Co., the Main Street Office of Citizens Commercial, and J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, as official depositories of the City of Tonawanda for the years 2010 - 2011 and be it further

            Resolved, that said First Trust Office, HSBC and the Broad Street Office of the M&T Bank, J. P. Morgan Chase Bank, Buffalo, New York and Main Street Office of Citizens Bank, be required to furnish collateral for the City deposits as required by New York State statutes. 

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

10.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Councilmember Boyle and Councilmember Slisz be appointed to the Finance Committee, effective January 1, 2010.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

11.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Clyde Schulte, 479 S. Niagara Street, be reappointed to the position of Chief Examiner of Stationary Engineers, at a salary of  $687.00 yearly, term to expire December 31, 2011.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

12.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Sanford Belsky, be reappointed to the position of Plumbing Inspector for the City of Tonawanda, term to expire February 28, 2010, at a salary of  $20.20 per hour, not to exceed 19 hours per week, and be it further

Resolved, that this individual is entitled to the provisions provided in the Personnel Policy Manual for Group 8 employees.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

13.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Nancy Pohzehl, 228 Delaware Street, be reappointed to the position of Bingo Inspector, at a salary of $697.00 per year, term to expire December 31, 2011.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

14.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that the following certificates of insurance and bonds for plumbers be filed and a license be issued for said plumbers to do business in the City of Tonawanda. 

 

They are as follows: Gary P. Blaser (Blaser Plumbing), J.A. Brundage (The Drain Doctor, Inc.), Jaysen Bryk (H.W. Bryk & Sons, Inc.), Charles E. Carfley (A. Gareleck & Sons, Inc.), Paul N. Cecchini (Cecchini Plumbing and Heating, Inc.), Kenneth N. Clabo (Ken’s Plumbing Service), Dennis M. Deasy (Deasy Plumbing & Heating), Donald L. D’Carlo (Trademaster Contracting, Inc.), Michael C. Diebold (MCD Plumbing, Inc.), Frank DiMaria (Diamond Heating and Cooling LLC), Michael R. Dollendorf (Roy’s Plumbing, Inc.), Michael R. Duerr (Neighborhood Plumbing NY, Inc.), Mark Fremont (Mark’s Plumbing, Inc.), Mark Gfroerer (Huron Plumbing & Heating Corp.), Frank J. Grandinetti (Grand Jude Inc.), Barrett Greene (Western New York Plumbing), Daniel Greene (Western New York Plumbing), Donald V. Greene, Jr. (Niagara Frontier Plumbing), Andrew J. Grimaldi (A-Grim Plumber, Inc.), Michael F. Higgins (Higgins/Mayers Plumbing Comp.), Leonard N. Joyce (Joyce Plumbing), Matthew Kandefer (Matthew Kandefer, Inc.), Dennis Kenney (Great Lakes Plumbing), Richard Kuhns (R.I.C. Plumbing, Inc.), Dean M. Luongo (LC Mechanical, Inc.), David martin (Dave Martin Plumbing), David W. Muskopf (MLP Plumbing, Inc.), Salvatore Musso (Musso Plumbing & Heating, Inc.), John T. Nuttle (Numarco, Inc.), Michael R. O’Neil (Sparks Plumbing & Heating Inc.), Louis J. Panepento (Penny’s Hrdware & Plumbing), William M. Petty (BP Plumbing), Ronald F. Reagan (Danforth, Inc.), Paul Rosiek (G & W Plumbing and Heating, Inc.), Todd Schmigel (Joseph V. Schmigel & Sons Plumbing), Herbert F. Schmit, III, (Schmit Plumbing & Heating LLC), George E. Sorri (New Horizon Plumbing & Construction), Mark Taylor (East Amherst Plumbing, Inc.), John Wachala (Sunset Plumbing & Heating), Gregory Zakrzewski (Aslan Plumbing & Mechanical Services, Inc.), Thomas Zinzola (Zinzola Plumbing).

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 15.      By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Chapter 30, “Fees” Article 11, Parks & Recreation, Section 30-301 entitled, “Miscellaneous Park and Recreation Programs and Facilities” be amended to read as listed below, effective January 1, 2010.

 

                                                                        Current            Proposed

Resident Youth Pass         ages 5 – 17              $ 3.00                $ 5.00            per year

Resident Adult Pass       ages 18 & up              5.00                      7.00     per year

Non-Resident Pass         ages 5 to adult          10.00                  12.00   per year

 

Councilmember Poole – We did speak in work session as to how long it’s been since the fees were increased, and it has been fifteen years and it is duly noted that Mr. Kinmartin suggested in this state of the economy, we do have to look hard at that.  The City is affected equally by the state of the economy and therefore, I think that it is not unreasonable to have raised the fees as listed. 

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 16.      By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Chapter 30, “Fees”, Article 11, Parks & Recreation, Section 30-302 entitled “Park Shelter Permits”  be amended to read as listed below, effective January 1, 2010.

 

                                                                        Current             Proposed

Veteran’s Park Large Shelters 1 & 2               $30 res/$60 non            $50res/$100 non

Veteran’s Park Small Shelters 3,4,5,6 $15 res/$30 non            $25 res/$40 non

 

Councilmember Gilbert – In talking with Linda Foels in the back, we looked at the numbers. The numbers coincide with the rest of the area shelters, so I have no problem with the fee going up for residents. 

 

Councilmember Boyle – Also, talking to Linda back there, in the Town, you can’t even get one if you’re a non-resident and she also said that the cheapest you can get in North Tonawanda is $50 and that’s without electric.  I think this is a decent fee for what we have and again, it goes back to 1994, if we would have done it five or six years ago, it would have been fine.  I have no problem with this. 

 

Council President Zeisz – And I’d also like to point out that the shelter fees for a resident for a large shelter is $30.00.  In a state park, a small shelter is $35.00, so our largest shelter is cheaper than, actually $20.00 cheaper than a state park. 

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 17.      By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Article V, Section 62-196, Schedule XVIII of the Traffic and Vehicles Ordinance be amended to read as follows:

            Resolved, that all ordinances for the “No Standing” of vehicles from 7:00 A.M. – 9:00 A.M., Monday through Friday, on the east side of Delaware Street from DeKalb Street to a point 241’ north of the north curb line of Elm Street, adopted March 17, 1992, is hereby rescinded.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 18.      By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

                Resolved, that Article V, Section 62-196, Schedule XVIII of the Traffic and Vehicles Ordinance be amended to read as follows:

                Resolved, that all ordinances for the “No Standing” of vehicles from 4:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M., Monday through Friday, on the west side of Delaware Street from a point 62’ north of Morgan Street to Tussing Lane, adopted March 17, 1992, is hereby rescinded.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Council President Ziesz – At this time we will take comments from the public on any order of business, what I do ask is, and I asked this at the last meeting of 2009, our Rules and Orders call for people to take three minutes to propose their question so either make your comment right up front or ask your question right up front then please be seated.

 

Robert Derner, 286 Niagara Shore Drive – I’d like to address this to Mr. Gilbert.  During the election, during the campaign, you made a statement in the paper that you were against giving the RiverEdge homeowners an assessment break, or a break on their assessments and I’m going to say I agree with you.  Nobody wants a break on their assessments.  What they want is a fair and equitable assessment the way it said in the Assessor’s website that she’s to give a fair and equitable assessment.  It’s all we want.  The other thing I want to ask is, on this pavilion that’s proposed, there must be some sort of plan available to show the public of what it entails because you have a figure of $860,000 plus $86,000 has to come from the City, so can that be made available to the public, to look at it before you move on this project? 

 

Council President Zeisz – Well, first of all, there’ll be public hearings and the public will certainly have the opportunity to address this issue.  Right now, the whole point is, right now, we’re trying to make a determination on where it could even go, whether or not it’s feasible to put it.

 

Robert Derner – Well how did they come up with a figure of $860,000? 

 

Mayor Pilozzi – We based it basically on a pavilion that’s currently at the Sheridan Park golf course.  We have all the blueprints for it and basically, we built it around that and took the square footage and multiplied it times $175.00 which is on the conservative side, pretty much from what’s being used today.

 

Robert Derner - Well, was there any thought given to obtaining funds to fix the shoreline of the River, Niawanda Park? 

 

Mayor Pilozzi - Yes, in fact we had $250,000, I believe, from Senator Thompson to do some work.  It’s not enough to do what we really need to do, other than going after NYPA, for four years I’ve been Mayor, because they’re the ones that caused the problem of erosion along the Niagara River. 

 

Robert Derner – The thing is, for a pavilion, the money is available for a pavilion which is questionable whether we need it or not, that’s to be decided, but couldn’t that amount of money be enough, almost a $1,000,000, to take care of the whole shoreline, from Wheeler Street to City Hall or maybe even beyond that?

 

Council President Zeisz - Mr. Derner, do you have any other questions besides this one? 

 

Robert Derner – No, this is all.  I’d just like to know if this is going to be made public.  

 

Council President Zeisz – All right, we’ll respond to it. 

 

Councilmember Gilbert – Mr. Derner, I think my exact quote was, I didn’t want to see a settlement given to the tax assessments.  I didn’t say you deserved or didn’t deserve a tax break.  I just said I didn’t think we should settle out of court to give you guys exactly what you wanted without have a fair trial. 

 

Robert Derner – You would agree that it should be fair and equitable. 

 

Councilmember Gilbert – It definitely should be fair and equitable but my assessment was that it shouldn’t be settled out of court.  It should go through the hearing. 

 

Council President Zeisz – To address your other issue, Mr. Derner, with the pavilion, going back a few years ago when the Greenway Commission was formed, one of the things the City was, we put together a package which basically, and I’m thinking off the top of my head here, involved about ten projects throughout the community and they were projects that would be in one way another, tied to the River or some waterfront development of that sort and it so happens that now, to the best of my knowledge, they have not awarded money for three years and they had a pool of money, basically from the last three years.  They have approximately $2,000,000 to award each year which came out to about $6,000,000 and they basically took the communities presentations and they made a determination which ones they were going to pick from each community.  The commission picked the pavilion for the City of Tonawanda.  Now, I’m not disputing the fact that we absolutely need to address the shoreline.  It’s just in this particular situation we were afforded the opportunity to do something different based on what they chose.  Now bear in mind, we got basically, 1/6th of the available funding, give or take, a little less, but we got a large portion of the available funding.  I think it would definitely be doing a disservice to the community for us to not certainly do our due diligence as far as this project and also to see it through.  In this particular case, this is not like normal situations where we need a grant, we need to bond, we need to find funding.  This money is in the bank and we just have to come up with a way to look at how we’re going to address our in-kind portion of this bill and also the long term as far as maintenance and use of this facility.  But that being said, the shoreline is something we’re going to address, we’re just at this point, we’re still working on how to address it. 

 

Robert Derner – The only thing I’m thinking of is, we have broken concrete all along there and I walk this Riverwalk a lot and I see little kids playing on that and someday somebody’s gonna fall and get very seriously injured in there because it’s unstable, the whole thing and it seems to me that building a pavilion, this is my view, before you fix the shoreline just seems like buying a tuxedo to go to a wedding and going in your bare feet.  It just seems the shoreline should be the first order of business.  We have two members, Mr. Pilozzi and Alice Roth on the Greenway Commission and what are their views of this?  I think the people should hear everybody’s feelings on this. 

 

Council President Zeisz – All right, thank you Mr. Derner.

 

Councilmember Boyle – You look at it, there’s $897,000 that was given for this pavilion.  You can’t take this $897,000 that’s for the pavilion and put it towards the wall.  So what you’re going to do is say, okay fine, let’s not take this $897,000 that’s given to us, say, we don’t need a pavilion and we just throw away $897,000.  The City keeps getting shorted?  The City is overlooked constantly.  This is something that they’re giving us, $897,000. 

 

Robert Derner – And the City has to put 10% toward it.

 

Councilmember Boyle - Yes, but that is an in-service so we could have engineering, this person’s gonna do the engineering on it, that deducts $30,000 off of it, correct?  You can do the in-service so you don’t have to come up with $87,000.  You could turn around and say that you have in-service on this.  Engineering, the land, I mean can the land come off of this? 

 

Council President Zeisz - That’s another thing that’s being looked at.   

 

Councilmember Boyle - It’s really, myself, it’s a no-brainer.  They’re giving you $897,000.  Let’s throw it away and say, no let’s work on the break wall first of all?  No, let’s get this pavilion done up.

 

Councilmember Gilbert – Do we know what the estimated fiscal asset will be of the pavilion? 

 

Council President Zeisz - Not at this time, no. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi – Well, I did some preliminary checking with the Town of Tonawanda.  To be quite honest with you, I called them up as a person that was inquiring as to what dates were available, how much do they charge and that sort of thing.  They didn’t know they were speaking to me, I’ll admit to that, but at any rate, once I got that information and pumped the numbers through my calculator, they get somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000 a year revenue off the Noco Pavilion, and if we can built something along our River, I mean it’s nice to have one on the golf course, but when you’re looking at the Niagara River on a summer evening, there is nothing better.  Just another comment, you’ve got to understand, whenever you go through the process of trying to beg, borrow or steal money from other levels of government, you gotta take what’s given to you.  If I had my druthers, I’d ask for about $3,000,000 or $4,000,000 and do the whole River shoreline properly.  If you think back on what we did close to the townhouses, that was not cheap and it was done, I think, right.  You have a nice walkway there, you have a railing there, and if you think about it, correct me if I’m wrong, that cost a couple million dollars, just for that little stretch, so that’s why I keep banging on NYPA’s door, trying to get funding, because if you think about the erosion, that erosion, you talk to some experts anyway, is basically caused by the thermal cycles of the River, plus the fact that it goes up and down so rapidly because of the power project and the ice boom.  Why aren’t they paying for the environmental concerns that we have?  They really are not paying what I think is their just due.  Now don’t’ get me wrong, I’m not going to slap NYPA in the face for the money they’re giving us.  This is NYPA money by the way, there’s no question about it.  You folks are still paying for it in your electrical fees, but the fact of the matter is, that electricity goes to Ohio, goes to New Jersey, goes to Massachusetts, goes to Pennsylvania and we’re the ones that pay the price for that.  So I’m not going to let up on NYPA trying to get some money for exactly what you’re talking about Mr. Derner because we need to do that.  I would not take issue with that at all.  So we’ll keep banging away at that and see what happens. 

 

Councilmember Poole – I do share the concerns about the erosion and I look forward to working closely with the Mayor and other people who can get the erosion fixed.  I also do have some concerns about the pavilion, as to whether there’s enough business, whether we can make as much as the Town of Tonawanda does and whether by renting the pavilion whether it’s going to have a negative impact on the few fraternal organizations in the City who have halls to rent.  So I think that’s something we need to look at but should not be discussed here but I would like to talk further about that with you. 

 

Dave McCormick, 613 Niagara Street – I mean it’s a dumb question, I mean, I’ve been living on the River for years, there’s a lot of open space down below my house where you could put a pavilion up, where people would line up and pay top dollar for it and I don’t think it would take that much money away from other businesses in the area.  It’s just a first step of getting something going.  You guys sit and years go by and now you get a gift like this and now we’re gonna debate whether we should take the money or not, it’s kind of stupid.  Get the money, build something, and then the rest will follow. 

 

Councilmember Gilbert – As far as I know, every pavilion I have rented, people are looking for an outdoor event, not an indoor event, and if we can use the money and the land and the engineering part of it that offsets the cost of our portion of it, we could generate $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 a year, that’s a no-brainer.   

 

Council President Zeisz – The only other comment I would make is, one of the things that has been brought up, not just here but in the past was well, the Town of Tonawanda has a pavilion.  Well, the last I checked, I was elected by residents in the City of Tonawanda to represent them.  I wasn’t elected to worry about the Town of Tonawanda and I’m gonna do whatever I can to bring things to the City that are going to help us and I think that goes without saying that that’s my concern. 

 

Jerry Hill, 135 Franklin Street – I wanted to know, what is the pavilion going to consist of.  Is it going to have a kitchen or something like that or is it just gonna have bathrooms?  You said it was gonna be mimicked after the Town of Tonawanda one and who is gonna be able to rent it.  Is it gonna have shelter fees of some sort?

 

Mayor Pilozzi - Let me just go through what the Town does because again, I called them up as a “spy” so to speak so I could get a general feel on how we might propose, have a public hearing, how to utilize a brand new pavilion.  Basically, what happens in the Town of Tonawanda is, you rent that pavilion for the day for $225 but that gives you the use of the kitchen, the whole facility and I believe, I could be wrong here, but I believe they can hold 100 or 135 people.  Now, what they do is they have a lock box, they give you a number, you go there, press that number in, and that’s yours to use.  Now, on top of that $225 is a $250 security deposit.  Two different checks, you gotta give them two different checks.  Check number one is for the Town of Tonawanda for the usage.  Check number two, $250 is for security.  If the people from Parks and Recreation go in there and they find that you left it the way it should be left, clean, everything there, nothing “walked away”, they take that check that you gave them and send it right back to you.  So basically, what you’re feeding off of is the $225 fee.  Now, again, when I called them, and anybody here can call them and maybe get the same facts and figures I did, but at any rate, I asked, could I have a weekend in June or July or August.  No.  They’re already booked.  How about a weekday?  Very few left.  How about February, March, the off months, the two ends of the spectrum, late Winter and Spring, usually the weekends are pretty much booked too.  When I worked through the numbers, it was between $40,000 and $50,000 a year that they generate.  Now, it doesn’t mean there aren’t costs involved.  Obviously, you have to pay utilities, if somebody doesn’t do their clean-up, you have to send a crew in there that will take care of it, if there’s damage to a table that’s broken and that sort of thing, so there are some question marks but the bottom line is, I would think that would be the business amount we would look at and I think also from having married into a family that ran a restaurant for 52 years, they did a lot of off premises work. If you wanted to have a wedding, a graduation, bar mitzvah, confirmation, whatever, and you wanted to have it because it’s along the River and it’s a nice summer day, would you cater it?  Absolutely.  So I don’t think it’s gonna hurt businesses.  Mr. Poole’s concern, it might have an impact on some of the not-for -profits, don’t know, but that’s the long and short of it and there will be a public hearing. To be quite upfront and honest, we have the blueprints from the Noco Pavilion.  Whether or not that footprint will fit where we’d like to put it, don’t know.  We’re not sure whether or not we can build at the River level at the other end because of flood plain concerns, we might have to make sure, according to the rules and regulations that I was exposed to recently, you have to be at least two feet above flood plain level which I believe is 571’ above sea level.  There’re a lot of things we have to do yet before we even go to a public hearing, a lot of homework that needs to be done here but there will be a public hearing.  Keep an eye on the paper, call my office anytime and inquire as to when the public hearing is going to be. 

 

Jerry Hill - I like the idea.  I think it should bring in more people from outside of the City, and also bring in more money to the City, but I also agree with the gentleman’s concern about the erosion.   I moved here 17 years ago and I’ve seen the River take its toll on the concrete.  I agree with that, but yes, it’s money already in the bank, we already decided for it, to go to a pavilion, it should go to a pavilion for the City. 

 

Dave McCormick – A couple years ago, we were talking about the ice skating rink too and we were waiting on some grant money maybe for an outdoor rink.  That’s another good reason that you have the pavilion down there with a skating rink like that.  It’s just the starting point.  But there’s another thing, we put a light up down there a couple years ago on the sled hill and you go by there any night and you see 20-30 kids with their parents having a good time. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi - We didn’t actually put the light up.  We just turned it around so they could see the hill that they’re going down.

 

Dave McCormick - But that’s the last thing you guys did for the park down there so, you know to start throwing negatives instead of positives is just ridiculous.  Could you find out what’s going on with the rink too? 

 

Mayor Pilozzi - Well, my hope is that we’ll have enough money to put a rink down there with this.  Another thought that somebody brought to the table recently was, because it’s gonna be in the area where the old Erie Canal used to be, could we not maybe dig out a portion of that that could be used as a model for the kids.  That’s another thing that a pavilion is supposed to have is, it’s gonna be basically an educational, I’m trying to think of the other word I used in the presentation, but anyway, to show kids, we can bring kids down there and say this is how the glaciers formed the Great Lakes and what you’re looking at in front of you is part of the history of a million years ago. In talking to my good friend, Cory Schuler who works for NYPA out there and  the thought process is to get them involved with that part of it too.  There’s a lot of thought that we have to give to this whole project so it’s just in its infancy right now.

 

Councilmember Slisz - Being a new member of the committee, I haven’t taken a position either way.  Where it should be located, if we should have a pavilion, but this is the beginning of a process.  I think we’re going to have hearings, more is going to be said about the pavilion or the erosion, and I want to read to you from the meeting of the Waterfront Revitalization Board, December 10th,  “$863,000 secured from Greenway Committee, only to be used for a pavilion.  No other use can be used of this money”.  Now I’m not sure if that’s been confirmed but it’s something we could take a look at.  Let’s get all the facts before we move onto a pavilion or no pavilion, erosion, but there is money available for the first time.  As I understand it, the Greenway Commission only gave three municipalities, and we’re the third one, money from that grant that they received from Niagara Mohawk and it’s money we should be using and let’s find out the best use for this money and I’m not saying I’m opposed to it, to the pavilion, but I think we ought to get all the facts before we move on to that. 

 

COMMENTS BY THE COUNCILMEMBERS AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Councilmember Gilbert – I’ve said enough. 

 

Councilmember Boyle – This past New Year’s Eve, we went down for the Pub Crawl even though we don’t drink.  It was still nice to go down there and see this.  My hat goes off to the Police and also the Fire Department for the firework display that went off down there.  It was nice to see probably, I don’t know, from what my kids said, from what they can remember of that night, there was quite a few people down there, it was like 300, 400 people down there but they sold like 1200 tickets or something like that.  And as my wife and I are driving home, she says that she can, and I agree with her, that we can see this thing growing even more.  Why would people want to go to downtown Buffalo when they can just come to the City of Tonawanda and see this ball drop and stuff like that.  It was really nice, it was a nice Swearing-In-Ceremony, and I think, this Council, we have a learning curve, but I think we’re gonna get this job done. 

 

Councilmember Poole – I do want to extend my well wishes to Jack Gallagher. And I also want to thank the Council for this experience, and I want to thank the school students who are here, so enough said.

 

Councilmember Slisz – Being a new member, I would like to wish everybody a Happy New Year and I’m wishing Jack Gallagher well.   We’ve been friends for a long time.

 

Mayor Pilozzi – I too would like to echo the comments of yourself and other members of this Council.  Jack Gallagher was my predecessor.  He was the Mayor just previous to me.  He was also a Councilman here in the City for a good number of years and obviously, our prayers and thoughts are with him, and hopefully he’ll get better quickly.  Some comments were made about Jan Bodie that I could not help but echo and when you’re speaking close to the end, it gets hard to add anything that’s already been said except for one thing, the four years I’ve been Mayor, I can tell you up front that there’s nobody that is more professional in the way she executes her job on a daily basis, she always has a smile, never says no, and is just an excellent, excellent person.  The only problem is she’s a lot older than I am, one year, one day. 

 

Councilmember Slisz – Jan, it would be a good time to ask for a raise.

 

City Clerk Jan Bodie – You’ve got it.

 

Mayor Pilozzi - She used to be the oldest one up here but Dick just took over that. 

 

City Clerk Jan Bodie – Thank you for that.

 

Mayor Pilozzi - The ball drop, it was an excellent evening.  I noticed that I think the merchants were open quite late that day.  They did a fantastic job, I thought, and the fireworks at the end were absolutely fantastic.  I continue to marvel at the volunteers in the City are people that are willing to spend a lot of time and effort to bring folks to the City of Tonawanda, and the Twin Cities in general, whether it be concerts, ball drops, Canal Fest, we always continue to look at new avenues to highlight and bring vision to the Twin Cities so my hat goes off to the organizers of the ball drop.  And before I wish everybody a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year, which obviously I already did, but I just want to extend my congratulations again to everybody sitting up here.  As I mentioned before, it’s a position a lot of people never even give a second thought to.  Who wants to run for political appointment, a political position?  You put your neck out on the line, you put your family sometimes in second place, from time to time, it doesn’t happen a lot but the fact of the matter is, it takes a lot of guts to run for public office, especially today and I give everybody my heart-felt thanks for them being here.  I look forward to working with Council President Zeisz and everybody to make sure that we do the best that we possible can for this community.   

 

Council President Zeisz – I don’t have anything else.  I just want to thank everyone here for taking the time out to come.  Drive home safely and God Bless. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

  19.     By Councilmember Gilbert                                      seconded by Councilmember Boyle

            Resolved, that this Common Council adjourn until January 19, 2010.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

 

 

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