Council Chambers

Tonawanda, New York

January 6, 2009

 

A Regular Meeting of the Common Council

 

Present:  Council President Zeisz

Present Councilmembers:  Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

 

Pledge of Allegiance led by Council President Zeisz

 

Prayer led by Council President Zeisz

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE MAYOR

 

A letter to Katie Krurnowski, 124 Colonial Circle, dated December 19, 2008; reappointing her to the Youth Board, term to expire December 31, 2013.

 

A letter to Sara Mislin, 528 Main Street, dated December 19, 2008; reappointing her to the Youth Board, term to expire December 31, 2013.

 

A letter to Louanne Strauss, 174 Utica Street, dated December 22, 2008; appointing her to the Youth Board, term to expire December 31, 2013.

 

A letter to Donald Voisinet, 437 S. Niagara Street, dated December 19, 2008; reappointing him to the Waterfront Revitalization Board, term to expire December 31, 2009.

 

A letter to Joseph Ulanowski, 52 Dexter Street, dated December 19, 2008; reappointing him to the Waterfront Revitalization Board, term to expire December 31, 2009.

 

A letter to Lloyd Long, 85 Erie Street, Apt. C, dated December 19, 2008, reappointing him to the Waterfront Revitalization Board, term to expire December 31, 2009.

 

A letter to Ronald Ensminger, 334 Fletcher Street, dated December 19, 2008; reappointing him to the Waterfront Revitalization Board, term to expire December 31, 2009.

 

A letter to Christine Pilozzi, dated December 19, 2008, 82 Clinton Street, reappointing her to the Waterfront Revitalization Board, term to expire December 31, 2009.

 

A letter to Louis Panepinto, 2498 Elmwood Avenue, dated December 19, 2008; reappointing him to the Plumbing Board, term to expire December 31, 2011.

 

A letter to Joseph Ulanowksi, 52 Dexter Street, dated December 19, 2008; reappointing him to the Planning Board, term to expire December 31, 2013.

 

A letter to Kathleen Reitz, 44 Longs Avenue, dated December 19, 2008; reappointing her to the Library Board, term to expire December 31, 2013.

 

A letter from NFTA – Metro, dated December 17, 2008, asking that 10 – 15 parking places in the parking lot located at the corner of Niagara and Seymour Street be designated for Metro users.

 

A Notice of Facility Closure.  The facility to be closed is Roadway Express – Buffalo, NY, 90 Ransier Road, West Seneca, NY, 14224.

 

A letter from Time Warner Cable dated December 30, 2008, announcing rate changes. 

 

 

 

 

 

A letter from Time Warner Cable dated January 2, 2009, advising the City that they will be streamlining their corporate structure and merging certain subsidiaries into other Time Warner Cable subsidiaries, resulting in the transfer of the franchise in our community changing to Time Warner NY Cable LLC.

            Ordered filed

 

COMMUNICATION FROM CITY OFFICIALS AND CORRESPONDENCE

 

The following monthly reports were received by the City Clerk:

            October minutes of the Plumbing Board

            November Activity Report of the Fire Department

November minutes of the Plumbing Board

            December minutes of the Board of Appeals

December report of the City Clerk

            Yearly report of the City Clerk

            December minutes of the Civil Service Commission

              Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                        Ordered filed

 

A letter from City Attorney Ronald C. Trabucco dated December 30, 2008, to David Jay, reappointing him Deputy City Attorney, term to expire December 31, 2009.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A letter from Donald R. Carney, Alumni Chairperson for the Tonawanda American Little League, dated December 29, 2008, asking for permission to name the unnamed road and the parking area behind the league clubhouse “Doc Warthling Way” and permission to name the league complex “Jack Lawrence Baseball Complex” to honor the two most distinguished members of the organization.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                Ordered filed

           

COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC ON RESOLUTIONS

 

There were no comments by the public on the resolutions.

 

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

 

1.         By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

Resolved, that the Mayor has determined that the following list of City of Tonawanda non union department heads, other management employees, full time, part time, temporary and seasonal positions as well as board and commission members shall be granted the salary compensation as identified below for the year 2009 and further be it

Resolved, that the Common Council confirms that funds are available in the budget to support said salary compensation including any increases, and further be it

Resolved that said wages become retroactive to January 1, 2009 and that said list of positions and their corresponding wages shall be incorporated into the Personnel Benefits and Policy Manual in Section 2 – Compensation, 2.01 – Salary Administration, Appendix D.

2009

Classification                Job Title                              Wages             

 

Group 1

            A.            Common Council Members                      $ 7,000***                    

                        President of Common Council $ 9,000*

            B.            City Attorney                                               $39,500*       

                        City Treasurer                                              $65,000*       

                        Mayor                                                  $32,000**     

Group 2

            Administrative Assistant                     $62,027                     

            Assessor                                             $50,719         

            Building Inspector                                 $54,276         

            City Clerk Typist                           $29,974         

            City Engineer                                               $78,049         

Fire Chief                                        $78,104         

            Police Chief                                        $90,084**** 

            Public Works Superintendent             $78,104

            Ass’t. Public Works Superintendent            $59,843         

Recreation Director                                   $67,718         

            City Clerk Stipend                         $21,200         

           

*   Attorney, Treasurer and Council President (salary set by Council resolution on 5/1/07 for four year elected term of office effective 1/1/08).

**  Mayor (salary set by Council resolution on 4/19/05 for four year elected term of office effective 1/1/06).

***  Council Members (salary set by Council resolution on 5/1/07 for two year elected term of office effective 1/1/08).

****Police Chief salary increase set by Council resolution on 7/17/04 in accordance with Section 207-M of General Municipal Law.

 

Group 3

                        Deputy City Attorney                            $14,925

 

Group 4

Clerk Typist                                       $29,974/yr.

Secretary to the Mayor              $29,974/yr.

Account Clerk Typist                           $30,737/yr.

 

Group 8 - Part Time:

Asst. Examiner/Engineering Licenses $    687/yr.

  (Chief Examiner of Engineers)

                        Bingo Inspector                                  $     697/yr.

                        Plumbing Inspector                               $      20.20/hr. *****

                        Senior Citizen’s Director                        $      22,073/yr.

                        Clerk Typist                                       $      11.08/hr.

                        Custodian (Sr. Ctr.)                              $        9.62/hr.

                        Detention Aide                                    $      11.14/hr.

                        Dog Control Officer                         $      13.92/hr.

                        Ordinance Enforcement Officer  $      14.71/hr.

 

                        School Crossing Guards

                          - 1st Year                                         $       7.57/hr.           

                          - 2nd Year                                         $       7.93/hr.

                        Student Worker                                    $       8.41/hr.           

                        Temporary Laborer                              $     15.50/hr.

                        Temporary Maintenance Worker            $     16.94/hr.

                        Van Driver (Motor Vehicle Operator)$    11.66/hr.

 

Group 8 - Boards and Commissions

 

                                Civil Service Commission:

·                 Secretary                                                $21,538/yr.

·                 Chairman                                                $  1,815/yr.

·                 Commissioner                                                $  1,230/yr.

 

                        Board of Appeals:

·        Members                                    $    27.00/mtg.

·        Secretary                                    $    32.00/mtg.

                       

                        Board of Assessment Review:

·        Members                                    $    42.00/mtg.

·        Secretary                                    $    47.00/mtg.

                             

Planning and Zoning Board               $    27.00/mtg.

 

                        Plumbing Board                                    $    27.00/mtg.       

                        Traffic and Safety Advisory Board   $    27.00/mtg.

 

                        Youth Board:

·        Director                                    $      3,345/yr.

·        Secretary                                    $      1,275/yr.           

 

*****Plumbing Inspector appointment and salary set by Council resolution on 01/08/08

 

                        Stipends:

·        City Attorney Secretarial Support            $12,000/yr.

·        Computer Services Director                        $  5,384/yr.

·        Deputy City Clerk                                    $  2,908/yr.

·        Deputy City Treasurer                                    $  2,908/yr.

 

Group 8 - Seasonal Employees 

          2009 Wage Schedule/Hourly Rate

          1st Year     2nd Year            3rd Year or more

 

GROUP A                                          $7.48       $7.53    $7.59

Laborer - seasonal

      (DPW, Recreation)

Recreation Attendant                    

      (Playground, Pool, Youth Center)

                   Recreation Specialist

      (Craft Instructor, Sports Assistant)

 

GROUP B                                            $7.89        $8.15   $8.41

Lifeguard                                            

 

GROUP C                                             $8.66      $8.66            $8.66*******           

Grounds worker

      (Landscaping and flowers)

 Park Attendants*******

       (Gateway Harbor, Veterans Park)

 

GROUP D                                              $8.92      $9.17                $9.48

            Recreation Leader

                  (Head Lifeguard, Summer Supervisors)

 

GROUP E                                               $9.99     $11.02 $11.79

Senior Recreation Leader - seasonal          

       (Pool Manager, Sports Instructor)

 Grounds worker – Leader

       (Landscaping and flowers)

 

*******  Park Attendants assigned to Gateway harbor will be paid at the Group C “3rd Year or more” hourly rate regardless of the employee’s years of experience.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

2.         By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

             Resolved, that Sanford Belsky, 25 Delton Street, be reappointed to the position of Plumbing Inspector for the City of Tonawanda, term to expire December 31, 2009, 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: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

3.         By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that the following certificates of insurance and bonds for plumbers have been accepted and approved by our Plumbing Inspector and therefore shall be filed and a license shall be issued for said plumbers to do business in the City of Tonawanda.

 

They are:  Gary P. Blaser of Blaser Plumbing; John A. Brundage of J.A. Brundage/Drain Doctor, Inc.; Charles Carfley of A. Gareleck & Sons; James Carney of Carney Plumbing & Heating, Inc.; Paul N. Cecchini of Cecchini Plumbing & Heating, Inc.; Kenneth N. Clabe of Ken’s Plumbing Service; Dennis M. Deasy of Deasy Plumbing & Heating; Donald L. DiCarlo of Trademaster Contracting, Inc.; Michael C. Diebold of MCD Plumbing, Inc.; Michael R. Dollendorf of Roy’s Plumbing, Inc.; Mark Gfroerer of Huron Plumbing; Frank J. Grandinetti of Grand Jude, Inc.; Joseph A. Grasso of Joseph A. Grasso Plumbing; Barrett Greene of WNY Plumbing; Donald V. Greene, Jr., of Niagara Frontier Plumbing; Andrew J. Grimaldi of A-Grim Plumber, Inc.; Christopher T. Haefner of Heafner Plumbing; Michael F. Higgins of Higgins/Mayers Plumbing Company, Inc.; Timothy Jones of Joes Plumbing Company; Leonard N. Joyce of Joyce Plumbing; Matthew Kandefer of Matthew Kandefer, Inc.; Dennis KenneyII of Great Lakes Plumbing; Richard A. Kuhns, R.I.C. Plumbing, Inc.; John S. Librera of Water Flow Plumbing & Heating Inc.; David P. Martin of Dave Martin Plumbing; David W. Muskopf of MLP Plumbing; Salvatore F. Musso of Musso Plumbing & Heating; Michael R. O’Neil of Sparks Plumbing & Heating, Inc.; Louis J. Panepento of Penny’s Hardware & Plumbing; William M. Petty of B.P. Plumbing; Ronald F. Reagan of Danforth Inc.; Paul rosiek of G&W Plumbing & Heating, Inc.; Todd J. Schmigel of Joseph V. Schmigel & Sons Plumbing & Heating, Inc.; Herbert F. Schmit, III of Schmit Plumbing & Heating, Inc.; George E. Sorri of New Horizon Plumbing & Construction Company; Mark A. Taylor of East Amherst Plumbing Company, Inc.; John Wachala of Sunset Plumbing & Heating; Thomas Zinzola of Zinzola Plumbing.

               

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

4.         By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that the following people be appointed Commissioner of Deed, term to expire December 31, 2010.

 

            They are:  Holly M. Batt, Janice R. Bodie, Matthew P. Burke, Jamin J. Butcher, Robert I. Clontz, Fredric F. Foels, Michael Falzone, Kathleen R. Greenawalt, Philip L. Hankinson, John F. Ivancic, David M. Kenney, Thomas B. Kitson, David J. Kraft, James G. Litz, David B. Ljiljanich, Vincent D. Ostrowski, Lori L. Rank, Patrick R. Rank, David J. Ray, Michael E. Rogers, Nathan J. Schultz, Brian J. Scarpena, Joseph Scarpena, Corie M. Scholl, Scott A. Sheehan, William L. Strassburg, Timothy Stuart, Kevin A. Ulmer, Timothy J. Toth, Mathew L. Wark, Frank  E. Washburn Jr., Denise Winters, Cindy J. Young.

           

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

5.         By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

WHEREAS, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), as part of the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Ambient Air Toxics Monitoring Strategy, has conducted an ambient air-monitoring program in Tonawanda in response to pollution and foul odor complaints from residents in Kenmore and Tonawanda; and

WHEREAS, the DEC air-monitoring program, which lasted 12 months from July 2007 through June 2008 at four sites, found that ambient air levels of benzene in Tonawanda are elevated; and

WHEREAS, one DEC air monitor indicated the average annual benzene level exceeded the New York State guideline by a factor of nearly one hundred; and

WHEREAS, benzene has been linked to leukemia and is classified as a known human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and

WHEREAS, long-term inhalation exposure has caused various disorders in the blood, including reduced numbers of red blood cells and aplastic anemia, in occupational settings; and

 WHEREAS, reproductive effects have been reported for women exposed by inhalation to high levels, and adverse effects on the developing fetus have been observed in animal tests; and

WHEREAS, benzene levels in Tonawanda are at a level that may be dangerous to Tonawanda residents’ health; and

WHEREAS, according to the federal EPA Toxic Release Inventory, in 2006 Tonawanda Coke reported releasing 9,568 lbs of benzene to the air and is the #1 industrial contributor of benzene in Tonawanda; and

WHEREAS, the City of Tonawanda is committed to insuring a safe and healthy

environment for residents throughout Erie County, now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Erie County Legislature calls on those manufacturers and chemical plants in and near Tonawanda, including Tonawanda Coke, to significantly reduce their air emissions of benzene, a known human carcinogen; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the City of Tonawanda encourages Tonawanda Coke and other area manufacturers to develop and implement toxic-use-reduction plans and install state-of-the-art air pollution control equipment to significantly reduce the use and release of benzene and other hazardous chemicals into the community; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the City of Tonawanda requests the DEC and EPA to conduct a thorough on-site inspection and review of Tonawanda Coke’s various environmental permits to determine compliance with applicable state and federal environmental regulations; and be it further

RESOLVED, that certified copies of this resolution be forward to the President of the Tonawanda Coke Plant, Mayor Ronald Pilozzi, of the City of Tonawanda, Supervisor Anthony Caruana of the Town of Tonawanda, the Western New York State delegation, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York, Governor David Paterson and the local offices of the EPA and DEC.

 

Councilmember Davis – One thing that this huge resolution indicates is that it pretty much stinks to live in the 4th Ward right now.  Between the landfill and now from what everybody seems to concur is the benzene being emitted by Tonawanda Coke facility and they’ve been emitting it for years.  It’s my hope that now that the DEC has the numbers from this study in their hands, that they will act swiftly in implementing the changes that need to be made in order to make Tonawanda Coke adhere to both Federal and State guidelines to make the air a little bit more breathable in the 4th Ward here in the City of Tonawanda.

               

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

6.         By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Resolved, at the recommendation of the City Engineer, Jason J. LaMonaco, P.E., that the City of Tonawanda pursue a Local Government Efficiency Grant to evaluate the potential for sending excess wet weather flow to the City of North Tonawanda, at a cost not to exceed $15,000, contingent upon award of the grant.

                       

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Nancy Paschen, 5 Main Street – I haven’t been here for a few weeks and I’d like to know if anything is going on with Mountain Avenue? Have you talked to anybody about Mountain Avenue yet?  Last time I talked you guys hadn’t made a decision about Mountain Avenue.  Who owns it, the State, the City, the people that cut the grass all the time or what?  

 

Council President - Where is the City Attorney.  I’ll get him to answer your question.  I’m not sure where this is coming from?

 

Nancy Paschen - You always put it on hold.  The guys who cut the grass, I feel they should own it and they should take care of that land.  You shouldn’t build a house on it. 

 

Council President Zeisz - But we’re not building houses on it.

 

Nancy Paschen - I know but you’re going to do something to it. 

 

Council President Zeisz - No, it was brought up as a question by a homeowner who wanted to get the property.

 

Nancy Paschen - To build a house, right?

 

Council President Zeisz - No.  They just want the property, but it’s still nowhere. 

 

Nancy Paschen - Isn’t that the place where they have this gas well and oil things, that type of thing running through there?

 

Council President Zeisz – No, there’s one National Fuel line that runs through the property.  Mr. Trabucco, we’re just talking about Mountain Avenue. 

 

City Attorney Ron Trabucco - Favorite place in the City. 

 

Council President Zeisz - It’s not on hold, it’s not anything. We’re just not doing anything with it.  That doesn’t mean that something won’t happen in the future, but right now, nothing’s happening. 

 

Nancy Paschen – Well there’s four people I think that cut the grass down in that area isn’t there?

 

Council President Zeisz - Right, there’s two on each street. 

 

Nancy Paschen - Okay, couldn’t that be their property after a certain period of years, I don’t know.  

 

Council President Zeisz – No. 

 

City Attorney Ron Trabucco –  (inaudible, did not use microphone) property against the City, you can’t do that.

 

Council President Zeisz – Hopefully that answers your question.  Right now we’re not doing anything, it’s just sitting the way it’s always been.  It’s still our property. 

 

COMMENTS FROM THE COUNCILMEMBERS AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Councilmember Perkins – I guess I would just like to remind people to shovel in front of their homes.  I know we’ve had a lot of snow and it’s hard to keep up with it, but it goes a long way from kids falling going to the bus and people walking to pick up groceries and whatever, so if you have the extra time and inclination, throw a little salt on there so there’s no ice. 

 

Councilmember Waterhouse – Nothing at this time, Mr. President. 

 

Councilmember Davis – I’d just like to thank our first responders.  On January 1st, early in the morning, there was a house fire, a fatal house fire in Gastown. I’d just like to thank them for ending whatever plans that they had for that day or that early morning and rushing out to try and help that family.  There’s been two incidents now in the City in the last six weeks that our first responders have shown the commitment, dedication that they have to our community in helping those two families, so again, I’d just like to commend them for their actions on trying to save the young woman’s life.  And lastly, I’d like to wish everybody a safe and prosperous New Year. 

 

Councilmember Kossow – I just want to keep that family in our thoughts and prayers for the young lady that perished in that fire, and also thanks to our firefighters that made a desperate attempt to try and save that young woman.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

 

Mayor Pilozzi – First and foremost, I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of Catie Butera.  I happened to be there for probably an hour and a half, two hours in the morning and came back later on in the afternoon and our Fire Chief was still there trying to determine the origin of that fire.  So the bottom line is I also feel that it’s very, very important when you see a tragedy like this that when you go home, make sure your smoke detectors work and if you don’t have one, get one.  I had two brand new ones sitting in my computer room upstairs that I’d bought maybe ten days ago and after coming home from that fire, I put them up real quick.  It was a sad, sad occasion and again, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family.  And, as it has already been mentioned, our first responders had a heck of a time that day.  It was an awful, awful cold.  They made a gallant effort to try and get her out of there but to no avail.  So our thanks go out to them too.  I know it’s not easy for them to see a loss like that.  I think Councilmember Colleen Perkins has already touched on this, but when we have a heavy snow, it’s awful important that we not only take of your sidewalk, if you have a snow blower and you can see your way clear, help your neighbor out and make sure your neighbors are doing all right.  It gets kind of tough, especially if your neighbor is 85 years old or something like that and if you can help them out, or at least check on them, please do so.  Lastly, there’s going to be a lot of challenges this year with the financial meltdown at both the Federal and State level, so I hope everybody keeps their jobs, it’s probably not going to happen, but there’s going to be some major, major challenges out there to this community and everyone across this country, so I’m going to say Happy New Year and best wishes, but it will be a challenge. 

 

Council President Zeisz – I have nothing further, thanks for coming tonight, have a great night and have a Happy New Year. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

7.         By Councilmember Perkins                         seconded by Councilmember Kossow

            Resolved, that this Common Council adjourn until January 20, 2009.  

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

 

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