Council Chambers

Tonawanda, New York

July 27, 2010

 

A Regular Meeting of the Common Council

 

Present:  Council President Zeisz

Present Councilmembers:  Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole

 

Pledge of Allegiance led by Council President Zeisz

 

Prayer led by Council President Zeisz

 

Bid Opening:  Sidewalk Replacement 2010

                        July 6, 2010

                        10:00 A.M.

 

  Campobello Construction Co.

  23 Stratford Road

  Buffalo, NY   14216                                                                          Total:  $73,860.00

            bid bond and non-collusive bidding certificate accompanied bid

 

  Sunshine Concrete Inc.

  3461 Stevenson Court

  N. Tonawanda, NY   14120                                                                 Total:  $91,995.00

            bid bond and non-collusive bidding certificate accompanied bid

                 Ordered filed

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE MAYOR

 

A letter to Roz OíConnor, 175 Rogers Avenue, dated July 8, 2010, appointing her to the Board for the Visual and Performing Arts to fulfill the unexpired term of a previous member, term to expire, December 31, 2010.

 

A letter to Elizabeth Olka, 65 Cleveland Avenue, dated July 12, 2010, appointing her to the Board for the Visual and Performing Arts to fulfill the unexpired term of a previous member, term to expire December 31, 2011.

 

A letter to Lynn LeBar, 377 Adam Street, dated July 20, 2010, appointing her to the Board for the Visual and Performing Arts to fulfill the unexpired term of a previous member, term to expire December 31, 2011.

 

A letter from Time Warner Cable, dated July 1, 2010, apprising the residents of developments affecting Time Warner Cable subscribers in the Western New York Division.

 

A Notice, SEQR:  Request for Lead Agency Designation City of North Tonawanda to adopt a Local Law for Flood Damage Prevention.

 

A letter to Robert Ortt, Mayor of the City of North Tonawanda, dated July 26, 2010, regarding an Emergency Response to Disasters/Mutual Aid Agreement.

            Ordered filed

 

COMMUNICATION FROM CITY OFFICIALS AND CORRESPONDENCE

 

The following monthly reports were received by the City Clerk:

            Quarterly Report (4/01/10 Ė 6/30/10) of the County of Erie

                   Department of Environment and Planning listing projects that have been

                   completed and funds drawn down during reporting period.

            Minutes from the Board of Assessment Review Hearings held on 5/26/10

City of Tonawanda Public Library report submitted by Bev Federspiel, Director June monthly report of the City Clerk

June minutes of the Plumbing Board

            July minutes of the Civil Service Commission

                        Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                             Ordered filed

 

A letter from the Niagara Frontier Boat Racing Association, dated July 2, 2010, requesting permission from the City to borrow several sections of our floating docks that are located outside of the DPW building.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

An announcement from the Civil Service Commission announcing an open competitive examination for Sewage Lift Station Operator to be held on September 25, 2010.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A letter to City Clerk Janice Bodie from Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer, dated July 22, 2010, thanking the Council for their resolution opposed to State Senate Bill S2211 and stating that he would vote against it.  State Senate Bill S2211 would required all dogs in New York State to be micro-chipped and complete an obedience program before being licensed.

Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                        Ordered filed

           

COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC ON RESOLUTIONS

 

Robert Derner, 286 Niagara Shore Drive Ė I just want to ask about the sheets here.  Are they numbered wrong?

 

City Clerk Jan Bodie Ė No.  The back of the page did not get copied when more copies were run.  Here are some with both sides copied.  

 

Mark Mercio, 186 William Street Ė On resolution number two, I see that you had a bid for $73,860.  What is going on with the sidewalks?  Because I noticed in the Mayorís budget that we have allocated about $40,000 a year to fix the sidewalks.  Is this something above and beyond this or is this something new to the Council? 

 

Council President Zeisz Ė No, there was money allocated.  Iím pretty sure it was $80,000.  There was $80,000 allocated for sidewalks.  It wasnít all in one place though.  It was in two separate places. 

 

Mark Mercio - Thatís maybe where I might not have seen it.  Did the Council come up with a new resolution or a new way to deal with the bad sidewalk in the City or are you still working on that.

 

Council President Zeisz Ė Not yet. 

 

Gayle Syposs, 301 Broad Street Ė Question on the same issue.  Why are you bidding in July for sidewalks?  Any construction, repaving it was always advised to be bid at an earlier time when the contractors are hungry. 

 

Council President Zeisz - Iíd have to direct that to Mayor Pilozzi. 

 

Mayor Pilozz Ė Iíll find out.  Itís a good question. 

 

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

 

207.     By Councilmember Slisz                                         seconded by Councilmember Boyle

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

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

208.     By Councilmember Gilbert                                      seconded by Council President Zeisz

            Resolved, at the recommendation of the City Engineer, Jason J. LaMonaco, P.E., that award of the contract for Sidewalk Replacement, 2010, be made to Campobello Construction Co., Inc., at a cost not to exceed $73,860.00

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

209.     By Councilmember Slisz                                         seconded by Councilmember

                        Resolved, that no further action be taken by the City of Tonawanda, including a Public Hearing, regarding the potential plans for the building of a pavilion in Niawanda Park along the Niagara River between Two Mile Creek and Gibson Street or in Veteranís Park on the east side of Veteranís Park Drive on the south side of Niagara Street until boring samples have been taken and analyzed at both sites to see if the ground is suitable for such a structure.

 

Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Ayes:

Nays:

Resolution died from lack of second

 

210.     By Councilmember Gilbert                                      seconded by Council President Zeisz

            Resolved, that permission be granted to the residents of DeKalb Street between Amsterdam and Maldiner Streets, to hold a block party on August 28, 2010, from 10:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. and be it further

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

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

211.     By Councilmember Boyle                                       seconded by Councilmember Gilbert

            Resolved, at the recommendation of the City Engineer, Jason J. LaMonaco, P.E., that approval of Change Order #1 to the contract for the Water Treatment Plant and Wastewater Treatment Plant Site Abatement, Environmental Remediation and Demolition be made to Empire Dismantlement Corporation at a cost not to exceed $15,412.53.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

           

212.     By Councilmember Boyle                                       seconded by Councilmember Poole

            Whereas, a Special Events Application and a $25.00 application fee were received by the City Clerk from Tonawanda Free Methodist Church to hold a Walk-a-thon to raise money for disadvantaged families in the Tonawandas, and

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

            Whereas, all details for the above named event must be coordinated with Linda Foels, Director of Parks and Recreation, and the event chairperson, now, therefore be it

            Resolved, that permission be granted to Tonawanda Free Methodist Church to hold a Walk-a-thon on Saturday, October 16, 2010, from 7:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. in Niawanda Park and be it further

            Resolved, that any overtime cost that is incurred by the City of Tonawanda must be reimbursed to the City by Tonawanda Free Methodist Church and be it further

           

 

 

 

 

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

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

213.     By Councilmember Gilbert                                      seconded by Councilmember Boyle

            Resolved, that permission be granted to the residents of Ilion Street from Maldiner to Amsterdam Streets, to hold a block party on Saturday, September 11, 2010, from 1:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. and be it further

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

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

214.     By Councilmember Poole                                       seconded by Council President Zeisz

            Resolved, that a certificate of insurance and bond for John Militello (Kimil Construction, Inc.) be filed and a license be issued to said plumber to do business in the City of Tonawanda.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

215.     By Councilmember Gilbert                                      seconded by Councilmember Boyle

            Resolved, that permission be granted to the residents of Mullen Street, between Maldiner and Amsterdam Streets to hold a block party on Saturday, August 14, 2010, from 12:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. and be it further

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

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

216.     By Councilmember Boyle                                       seconded by Councilmember Poole

            Resolved, that permission be granted to The Griffin, 11 Main Street, in conjunction with the running of ďThe Mueller MileĒ to erect an outdoor tent in front of their building for a post-race party, on August 12, 2010, from 5:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

           

COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Robert Derner, 286 Niagara Shore Drive Ė Iíd like to speak about Canadian Geese and the Riverwalk.  I walk that Riverwalk everyday and so do hundred of other people and the Riverwalk between City Hall and Gibson Street is the worse mess of all.  These geese have easy access, they climb on the broken concrete along the shoreline to get up on the Riverwalk and itís like walking through a mine camp.  From Gibson Street toward Two Mile Creek itís less congested with geese and part of the reason, I think, is because people are allowed to walk their dogs from Gibson Street to Isle View.  Up in Isle View they can walk their dogs anytime and thereís hardly any geese up there but they have a higher elevation on the Riverwalk from the water. The point is that, and I donít own a dog myself, but I would think that leaving people walk their dogs all the time, at least those people pick up their dog droppings.  The geese, nobody picks up and itís worse all over the place.  Iíd like to ask one other thing.  The Mayor is on the Greenway Commission, you got $856,000 for a pavilion, where does that money come from? 

Mayor Pilozzi Ė Number one, the money does not come from Niagara River Greenway Commission.  They put the stamp of approval on any project.  You have to go out and find the money on your own.  After the stamp of approval, I have to go to a standing committee that basically looks at that project and many others.  At that point, after my presentation to that committee, it took them another, I think about a year to approve it.  The money itself, itís my understanding, comes from New York Power Authority.  Itís part of the overall settlement for $450,000,000 in the next 50 years. 

 

Robert Derner - So in other words, when it comes to the power project, someone had to make a request for this pavilion.  Who made that request?

 

Mayor Pilozzi Ė I did. 

 

Robert Derner Ė Does anybody ever make requests for money from the power project for our shoreline? 

 

Mayor Pilozzi Ė I havenít made it to the power project or the Niagara River Greenway Commission because when I stood and looked at the overall possibilities of what was out there, I discussed them with the individuals on the commission at the time and they felt that the one that would go through the best was that particular project. 

 

Council President Zeisz - There was about ten projects that were originally submitted to the Greenway Commission but they were all some type of enhancement.  They werenít structural repairs or maintenance or anything like that.  They were all physical enhancements to the community.

 

Robert Derner Ė What bothers me is that when I read what some of these projects that have been approved, or are in the process of being approved, are money for the budget from some school districts, thereís money for seating at Artpark, thereís $4,500,000 for the Riviera Theatre, which I like the Riviera Theatre but I think our shoreline is much more important and I think itís much more important than a new launch at Eastern Park or the pavilion.  Thatís my opinion.  The Riverwalk would benefit more people, be more in line with what the Greenway Commissionís purpose is and that means their name implies it, Greenway.  Buffalo is using it for their waterfront, weíre using it for a party house and I donít think thatís right.  Thank you.

 

Council President Zeisz Ė I just wanted to throw out a couple of thing too Mr. Derner.  We do have a bike path and a walk along the River so itís not like we donít have one, there is one there now.  The other thing, because Iím not sure what your idea of improving the shoreline is but it was part of a meeting we had where we were discussing the shoreline and itís probably going to be very similar to what we have today, only reinforced, but itís still going to be concrete. 

 

Robert Derner - It might be concrete but not what we had out there.  That was back in the 1950ís and 60ís that that was put in there.  It looks terrible.  

 

Council President Zeisz Ė But Iím just saying, itís not going to be like the wall behind Niagara Shore.  I just want to make sure that thatís out there. 

 

Robert Derner Ė I can take a look down at Isle View and thereís slush poured concrete down there.  Itís not broken pieces of junk laying there with rerod and everything, itís a slush poured concrete.  In fact, it would make it even more difficult for the geese to walk up.  What we have out there is not what looks good for our community.  You can take a look at how itís washing away the shoreline.  We had a light post right over by the fishing pier over here that was on a 45 degree angle until it got fixed this past week.  So something has to be done and thereís a vehicle now the Greenway Commission and all efforts should be put into trying to fix that shoreline because money can come from the power project and not cost taxpayers a bundle of money. 

 

Council President Zeisz Ė I understand exactly what youíre saying, but we canít do anything at this point.  We donít even have the information back from the design company thatís doing the design for the shoreline, we donít have that information back yet at this point. 

 

Robert Derner Ė I know but the point is that this shoreline has been like this for years, it should have been done a long time ago when the Greenway Commission came to light, this should have been the number one project, not a pavilion.  I donít care about the pavilion, itís a great thing but the point is, first things first. 

 

Councilmember Gilbert Ė Mr. Mayr, as part of the Greenway Commission, can anybody submit an idea they want to ask to the Greenway Commission?

 

Mayor Pilozzi Ė Itís my understanding that anybody canÖ.

 

Councilmember Gilbert Ė so if  Mr. Derner wanted to submit something to the Greenway Commission he could do that.

 

Mayor Pilozzi - I believe so.

 

Councilmember Gilbert  - Mr. Derner that might be an idea, if you canÖ

 

Robert Derner - ÖIíd be very happy to but we have a mayor and an ex-mayor who are  commissioners, out of twelve, we have two people on there, you would think that we would have some voice on there, not just a citizen in the community but somebody with some stature as a mayor and ex-mayor. 

 

Councilmember Poole - Mr. President, may I comment? 

 

Council President Zeisz - Mr. Poole.

 

Councilmember Poole Ė That shoreline is terrible looking and I think it is a great danger to children and others.  We havenít had any incidents, thank God.  I understand thereís an awful lot of rebar in there and the price of scrap metal is sky high right now.  If we could approach the Greenway Commission or someone else, if we could get somebody to reclaim that rebar and at least get that out of there, that might be a step in the right direction. 

 

Councilmember Gilbert Ė Mr. Poole, rebar is not scrap metal, unfortunately, it just goes as steel and itís tonnage and itís not worth it.

 

Councilmember Poole - The steel rods that are standing outÖ

 

Mayor Pilozzi - Ölet me add one thing to this discussion.  There were two projects that I submitted.  One of them was the pavilion, the other one was basically a boardwalk that ran all the way from the end of the area behind the townhouses to the City line that would basically put that mess that weíre talking about here maybe underneath it, Iím not sure, but again when I went before the commission, and talked to the individuals that basically held all the cards, the project that they said would go through, more than likely, was the pavilion project.  I already have the other one done, the verbiage is all there, I can submit that.  Itís not exactly what youíre talking about but has anybody ever been in Atlantic City and walked the boardwalk along the ocean?  Itís a great time, and whether or not we can do something like that, Iím not sure, and how much the cost would be, Iím not sure.

 

Robert Derner Ė Wouldnít boardwalks take a certain amount of maintenance to keep up, that large of a boardwalk from the townhouses all the way to the City line? 

 

Mayor Pilozzi - From a maintenance standpoint, if theyíre made out of wood, youíre probably right.  But today they have vinylÖ

 

Robert Derner Ė Yeah I mean, look at Isle View and take a look at how they donít have all that mess, they have something decent at the waterís edge that could prevent this problem and it looks decent and it doesnít cost a fortune.  

 

Council President Zeisz Ė Well, Iíve got to move on now because I think heís made his point but itís not something the Councilís ignored but I will say this. I hear all this stuff about itís not safe, itís not this, itís been that way my entire life and I know itís not the best looking situation and I know we have to address it but I donít think that everyone fully comprehends the amount of expenses that the City currently has and the amount of expenses that are coming and itís not going to be pretty.  We have major sewer issues, not just in the City, all across the northeast and Mr. Derner, youíre not getting another question because Iím moving on, thereís other people at this meeting.  Weíre talking serious dollars that this community is going to have to fork-out right away, not ten years, not twenty year, right away.  Iím sure everybodyís kind of used to sewer bills in the $200 to $300 range, well those days are over and Iím not talking about $100 a month and just so that everyone understands, weíre gonna be told what we can afford, weíre not gonna decide, weíre gonna get told how much our residents can afford to pay.  I understand what youíre saying but we also had an understanding of what was feasible and what we would actually get money for.  When that $863,000 came to Tonawanda, they gave out $2,400,000 that year and we got one third of it.  We knew the projects that had a chance.  Was the shoreline a better project in terms of what it would do for the shoreline and community?  Absolutely, but you have to go after what you think you can get and this had the best chance of flying.  I understand and I agree with what youíre saying, I know this is an issue.  Weíre working on it and I know you can say we should have done it before, well there was a lot of other things weíve been doing, a lot of things that take a lot of work.  That water plant didnít come down by itself, Spauldingís not coming down by itself.  Thereís a lot of things happening and weíre just trying to juggle how weíre going to  pay for these different things. 

 

Gayle Syposs Ė Along with your comments regarding what the City is facing financially, could I ask if this public hearing is going to be just a viewing of the drawings and what it might look like?  It would seem to me that it should include the cost, the upkeep of this facility, whatís the projected possible income, is one going to offset the other?  The concerns that I have with this pavilion I think that comments about test borings, I really am quite frankly astounded that that wasnít done by the engineering company before they did one other thing.  I find it hard to believe that plotting out drawings in two different locations didnít cost you more than one would have cost you, but I really think that this test boring should have been done.  Thatís the old Canal bed.  It was filled in with garbage.  I donít know if thereís too many other people around but I can remember people telling me and as I said, I implore you to physically make it obvious to people, paint it with orange paint like we used to paint the sidewalks, do something so that the people in this community can go up there and understand what they are giving away, as far as this is a passive park, thatís how it was developed, the irony of this whole thing is that we were applauded for years in our community for being the only ones that protected their waterfront and I have to tell you quite frankly, whether this pavilion goes in and one hundred people can have a party here matters not to me one iota, not one iota. Itís again, competing with private business. Iím sure the new owner at Richardís would rather have those weddings up there and I think itís just taking away from it.  And the bigger concern I have is I can just see the steam roller coming six months from now, that guy with the white shirt in there who said, oh gee, the cost is gonna be $960,000, oh gee, what are we gonna do, send the $860,000 back?  Moneyís never free and itís also my understanding that this Greenway money, this is only one round, thereís constant rounds going on where the City could in fact, request something in the future.  Even if you have this grant coming in, you could ask for additional money.  And as far as the situation at Niawanda Park, I agree with you and I know what youíre up against, trying to do something about that.  Let me just say this to you. I think Bill Poole has walked it, Dick I think walks it, Iím asking each Councilmember, go take a walk.  Itís hard for me to believe that you canít, with all you tore out of Spaulding and I think didnít Mr. Metzger, wasnít he the person demolishing that concrete, grinding it up? 

 

Councilmember Boyle - Heís using it for backfill.

 

Gayle Syposs Ė Okay, but the point is, a City resident and his son own Metzger Removal and I think they had something to do with it.  Youíve got a couple of spots that the erosion is now probably within two feet of the bike path.  At least, letís have the Parks Department, Public Works, somebody ask Mr. Metzger if he would help us and bring over a few big enough chunks to at least stop the erosion thatís going on.  I understand you canít cure all of that, but along with what Bob Derner said, I think it was probably Lloyd Long who came up with the brainstorm years ago, they used to get anybody that was in town doing concrete work, theyíd solicit them and when they had to wash out their truck, theyíd ask them to come down there and thatís where he put the slurry stuff.  So thereís a few things that I think need some attention and in addition I think Niawanda, I think thereís probably about thirty or forty picnic tables sitting over behind the Public Works that could be dragged up there, more garbage cans could be dragged up there.  Thereís lots of things that could be done it seems to me, without scads of money, just City personnel.  Neal Myers Iím sure would have some brainstorms. 

 

Roberta Faith, 194 E. Niagara Street Ė Talking about erosion, the Erie Canal is really bad.  A lot of the erosion is right up to the bike path, the bike path is starting to crack, itís starting to sink.  People walk that whole bike path and you see roots coming up and nobodyís doing anything.  Somebodyís gonna get seriously hurt.  Last year I watched two kids fall down inside of that Canal.  Luckily the coast guard was right there and they pulled them out.  Somethingís gotta be done about that erosion along the bike path on the Canal.  And one other concern I have is about the article I read about them taking out stop signs.  We need stop signs in Gastown.  There is a playground there and thereís baseball and football.  You see a lot going on at Douglas and East Niagara.  If you were down there sitting on my porch like we do every evening, we watch people speed through there, kids almost getting hurt, and thereís a stop sign there.  We had a walkway put in, right out to the bike path in the street.  We have the lines there for people to cross there, people are crossing there and nobodyís obeying the stop sign and they want to take it out.  Thereís gonna be a serious murder down there with a car if that continues to be like that.  There really should be another stop sign up at Stark.  The cars go whipping down from Creekside onto East Niagara and they donít care.  They donítí care.

 

Council President Zeisz - Well, first of all, I donít know what stop signs are gonna stay or go at this point.  But what will probably happen is, weíll put the speed trailer down on East NiagaraÖ

 

Roberta Faith Öthere was a speed trailer up there. 

 

Council President Zeisz - We havenít gotten the information from that yet, but not that this helps, but stop signs arenít meant to control speed, thatís not what theyíre for. 

 

Roberta Faith Ė I understand that but people like to cross, where are they going to cross if thereís no stop sign with the playground being there with the children.  We have handicapped adults and I know of one boy, young man, in a wheelchair and he comes down Douglas and goes across to the bike path, he almost got hit the other day because nobodyís stopping.  A kid can get hurt, I mean heís in a mobility chair, whereís he gonna go?  We have another lady that walks real slow with cerebral palsy, she has to walk real slow across there, if that stop sign goes out, howís she gonna be able to enjoy the bike path? 

 

Councilmember Gilbert - Mr. President.  I think the original talk was just a preliminary list that Traffic & Safety has given us.  We havenít done a definite walk through, there are fourteen different stop signs weíre talking about just in the First Ward.  There are concerns all the way around, weíre gonna review it and really take to heart what everybody says. 

 

Roberta Faith - My main concern is the playground area.

 

Councilmember Gilbert Ė One of things we do need is, the Police Chief is here, is that we need more enforcement of the speed to help that situation.  Stop signs arenít gonna help that that issue.  If theyíre not stopping nowÖ

 

Robert Faith Ė Önine years ago when I first moved there, there used to be a police car standing around the corner and in hour an a half I counted seventeen cars that got pulled over for going through a stop sign because there was a police officer in an unmarked car sitting around the corner and he caught seventeen people in an hour and a half.  We donít get that no more and in the past six, seven years, once in a blue moon somebody will sit there but other than that, no.

 

Councilmember Gilbert Ė Thatís the key to all the stop sign removals, is enforcement of the speed.  That is going to be the key to everything.  Keeping stop signs, no matter where they are, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Ward, itís the enforcement of the speed law thatís gonna help deter any speed anywhere, itís not a stop sign. 

 

Roberta Faith Ė Like I said, there should be one at Stark Street too because of that playground and the kids that play football and baseball and all that there. 

 

Councilmember Gilbert Ė I know they want to take three out of my street, so I understand the concern. 

 

Roberta Faith Ė Thatís the only one on our street, except down by Fillmore.  Other than that, thereís no other stop signs, all the way to the boulevard.  Itís a complete runway for cars and you yell at somebody and say thereís a stop sign there, they give you the middle finger or whatever.  Iíve had guys flick a cigarette butt at me and he almost hit a kid.  Itís a dangerous situation and somebodyís gonna get hurt. 

 

Councilmember Gilbert Ė Like a comedian said, ďyou canít cure stupidĒ.

 

Council President Zeisz Ė Well I appreciate that and like I said, we havenít decided anything yet. 

 

Roberta Faith Ė And like I said, with the Canal, that is deteriorating really bad. 

 

Gayle Syposs Ė Two things I think you should check.  Is not Erie County responsible for the bike path when there are erosion issues? 

 

Council President Zeisz Ė Thatís what we just said to each other.

 

Gayle Syposs Ė One other comment.  Mayor, I strongly urge you, next opportunity that you have for appointments to the Traffic & Safety Board that you appoint a woman.  Thereís not one on there and I donít think there ever has been. 

 

Councilmember Boyle Ė I think Gayle just volunteered to be on it.

 

Gayle Syposs Ė I would love to.  We need to look at things differently.   

 

COMMENTS FROM THE COUNCILMEMBERS AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Councilmember Poole Ė First I want to clarify some statements I made at the July 6 meeting to Mr. Gebera.  We all know, when you see things in print, they can be much clearer than they were in recall.  Canal Fest of the Tonawandasí Incorporated is a not for profit corporation which is formed to assist the more than 40 members who are non-profit service organizations whose members provide the thousands of volunteer hours required to plan and implement the mammoth undertaking we call Canal Fest.  The corporation does not make a profit but earns enough money to ensure the Canal Fest activities can recur for many years, thus ensuring the non-profit service organizations can continue to provide the philanthropic services to the Twin Cities.  The board of directors are not paid and the non-profit service organizations pay 9% to 13% of their profits back to the corporation to ensure future celebrations of this great community event.  The for-profit vendors taking part in Canal Fest must be sponsored by a non-profit organization and must give the corporation reasonable share of their profits to ensure future events.  Mr. Gebera, heís not here tonight, I salute your passion and would love to harness it at the Canal Fest or any of its non-profit organizations.  Canal Fest meetings are always open to the public on the second Wednesday of each month at Sweeney Hose at 7:00 PM.  There is a world of difference between non-profit, not for profit, and profit organizations.  Iím proud to report that all three types of organizations cooperate to bring the Twin Cities more business, fame and fun than any other existing venue.  Simultaneously, the non-profit organizations provide a tremendous variety of needed services to the citizens of both cities and I stand tall as one of the volunteers of several of the organizations involved.  I hope this spirit of volunteerism can be an example and an inspiration to more of our citizens to use their passion and talents in a positive way.  Finally, I would like to congratulate Chief Ivancic and his dedicated force for their dedication to duty and fine performance during Canal Fest.  Sadly, I cannot say the same for our Public Works or Parks and Recreation Departments.  I believe that better planning for Canal Fest 2011 with the heads of those departments, this Council, and Canal Fest officials can result in great improvements to longstanding problems experienced here on the Tonawanda side. Just to mention two of those problems, I was told that one of the members of the Legion went to buy garbage cans and was told he couldnít have any because the City owned too many and he was going to purchase them.  Also, as Gayle Syposs mentioned, there are many, many picnic tables sitting outside the Public Works Department but on Sunday and Monday of Canal Fest, the picnic tables donít show up on the Tonawanda food court until late Monday afternoon at the earliest because theyíre used by one of the service organizations.  There are plenty of picnic tables, that organization can have the tables but they should be available at the food court on Sunday opening day.  Thank you.

 

Councilmember Slisz Ė First of all, I want to give my condolences to the Sam Iraci family on the loss of his son.  To Bob Derner there was an article in the paper yesterday, it said theyíre going to a State agency is going to remove two-thirds of the Canadian Geese.  They are going to be shot and there are other ways they are going to eliminate them.   As to the pavilion, in todayís meeting I was also disappointed that boring samples were not done prior to these sketches being done.  We assumed that would be the first order of business; it didnít happen.  As soon as I sponsored the resolution last week, I understand theyíre now in the process of doing the boring samples.  My objection was because weíre going to a public hearing on August 3rd to talk to people about what we intend to put there when we donít really know if the soil and the grounds will hold a pavilion.  The boring samples should have been taken care of first thing.    We donít know any cost figures at this time, I asked for cost figures on different items that represented us here from the apartment association and the annual cost figures.  So we donít know what itís going to cost us.  I think those are the things that we should know before we go to a public hearing, to tell the people the cost, if theyíre going to be cost overruns or is this going to be the cost.  The third thing is that earlier on, I also thought that the money should be used for shore erosion.  I ride that bicycle path every day and it is dangerous and itís eroding our soil, before you know it, you wonít have a bicycle path.  I was told that the money could not be used for other than the pavilion, I was sure thatís not still the case if we can make a good case for shore erosion.  Basically, when I looked at the proposal from the Greenway Commission, this was a $15,000,000 project and the Mayor said it was only the pavilion, it wasnít, it was a pavilion plus similar to Niagara Shore Drive, it was going to cost $15,000,000, so I couldnít see the Greenway Commission recommending $15,000,000 so they gave us a piece of the action which is only the pavilion.  So (inaudible) whatís going to be, whereís itís going to be placed, either in Vets Park of Niawanda after a couple public hearings as I hear are going to be held in the future.  Thank you.

  

Councilmember Gilbert Ė I just want to say a couple of things about the event at Canal Fest, the parade was a great time, the whole event was an amazing event, and Iím very proud of everybody that took part in it.  Chief, your guys did a great job and handled the situation that came up and they were very professional, very proud of being associated with that.  My condolences to the Sam Iraci family.  Sam and I have become close and I really reach out to him and feel sorry for his family.  Iíd also like to say Mr. Derner, that the idea of the dogs was voted on to try it down there, see how the people took care of their dogs and what they did with their dogís waste and if it continues to be a good thing, then Iím going to move to open it up the whole way and hopefully that will help with the geese.  I think thatís a good idea to do.  Other than that, thank you Mr. President.

 

Councilmember Boyle Ė Chief Ivancic did a great job.  If anybody went up top and just saw what he was seeing, Iím surprised that he didnít get burned, you had your hat on up there, so you did a great job, I mean I think it probably was the least amount of arrests that weíve had.  Sam Iraci family, my condolences also.  I remember forty years ago, coming down here after baseball games and playing on the same thing thatís there right now, itís been that way forever and ever. I mean, if we had $50,000,000, weíd do the whole thing, I mean we got a little bit there, Mr. Derner, so I mean, weíre doing the same thing.  Forty years ago I came down here playing on that stuff, itís not safe, itís been like that, weíre talking about goose poop down there, go that way and see where the goose poop is.  Thatís worse towards that way.

 

Robert Derner - When somethingís wrong, you change it.  You donít keep doing the same thing over and over againÖ 

 

Councilmember Boyle Ė Itís as Carl said, we are looking at that.  Itís not a dead issue.

 

Robert Derner Ė Youíre tryingÖ

 

Councilmember Boyle - Öwhy am I fighting?

 

Council President Zeisz Ė Mr. Derner, itís our time to talk. 

 

Councilmember Boyle Ė Yes, you had yours.  In fact Mr. Derner, it was longer than three minutes.  Thereís a three-minute limit that we have.  Carl lets it go.  Also, on resolution #3, it was sponsored by Mr. Slisz.  Mr. Slisz and myself talked.  One of my issues was I really thought that the boring samples should have been done first before anything else.  Now that the boring samples are being done, this public hearing that weíre gonna have, we are going to be saying, we donít know if we have to, weíll have another one, thatís what we discussed in the back.  You got me riled and thatís it, I said I am going to be a good boy while Iím up here for two years so thank you Mr. President.   

 

Council President Zeisz Ė Itís the Mayorís turn to speak but I can speak when I want soÖI need to clarify some things because Iím really sick and tired of peopleís saying things, they donítí know what theyíre talking about. My understanding originally was that they would do the soil testing up front.  So that didnít happen.  The soil testing would not even be done today or happening today if I hadnít have told Bergmann to move ahead with it two weeks ago, before there was any resolution out there or anything.  They did not have that intention to move ahead with the soil testing at this point in time, they wanted to get to a point of making a decision on the pavilion first and then how it was going to be handled on the site.  So that everybody understands this, the original presentation was to put it in Niawanda.  Vets came up as an alternative site if in fact it had to be put in an alternate site.  So, that being said, when Bergmann took the project, all right this is the pavilion we want to build, when we get the soil samples back, then weíll know how much itís going to cost and what we need to do to build it on that spot.  When I got the sense from everybody on the Council of where this was going, thatís when I proceeded to ask Bergmann to move ahead with the soil testing, which was about, I want to say, almost three weeks ago and itís going to be happening soon.  The other part of this whole thing is that, I understand in a perfect world, weíd have all the financial information for people.  Weíd have all the soil information for people for next week.  The reason the public hearing is next week is because the engineering firm asked that the Common Council have a public hearing by the end of July or early August, so it was to give them an opportunity to present to the public the preliminary designs of the pavilion which for all intents and purposes, isnít gonna look any different on either site, so that was the point of the public hearing, thatís why weíre having a public hearing and when it comes to pass, when we have more information, if we have to have another one, weíll have another one.  If we have to have five more, weíll have five more, but some of this stuff, thereís a method to the madness, itís not just because I want to do it a certain way, so thatís why weíre having a public hearing.  My sense was from the people that were here that they felt like theyíd like to have that opportunity early on, but I do agree with what Mr. Slisz said, that it would be great if we had some other information.  Well, we donít at this point in time. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi Ė Iím not going to talk about the pavilion, I think you did a good job on explaining that, except you know, when you put these projects together and for the most part, you basically contract with an engineering firm to come up with basic drawings and that sort of thing and at that point in time is when you start doing your testing, and then you decide what kind of foundation you need and all the other amenities that go with it.  In this particular case, as Council President Zeisz mentioned, we pretty much knew when I sold the project, where we wanted to put it.  It was our intent that if for any reason we couldnít put it down below, our secondary position would be up top.  If you look at the footprint and you look at the pros and cons, then it will be an interesting meeting on the 3RD.  Iíd like to see the public input, I think thatís important.  Nobody ever stopped the fact that we wanted to have a public hearing anyway on that particular subject.  But one thing that was clear to me, and itís clear on every grant Iíve ever seen, is when youíre granted money for a project, whether you like the fact that I got the pavilion in here or not, you cannot just unilaterally move it to another area, unless you want to pay for the whole shooting match and thatís exactly what will happen.  So, that being said, Iíll leave that alone.  Iíd like to thank anybody that was involved with Canal Fest, whether they be the Canal Fest delegation, they were called the ďbrown shirtsĒ.  They all wear brown shirts during the event.  They work awful hard all year long.  I donít share the same sentiments that Councilman Poole does.  I donít worry about one person or two people having comments I look at the overall success and when you have that many people down to your downtown section you have done a good job.  The weather was on our side this year.  I think what Councilman Poole mentioned you can mention about anything you do in your lives.  You can always do a little bit better.  You can always find a bump or bruise somewhere along that path and hopefully you can make some course corrections.  One thing that does concern me and has concerned me for many many years is the fact that if you look at our side of the canal it seems like you are trying to put two gallons of water in a one gallon jug.  People are way too confined and to be honest with you if you look at this from a public safety standpoint, I donít know how you would get a fire truck down that road.  I think some of the things we need to look at are those things.  Sidewalks was mentioned by Mr. Mercurio.  I think it was September two years ago or last year.  I canít remember.  I did a very in depth study on how the communities that surround us handle sidewalks.  It is either thirteen or eighteen different communities that surround us handle sidewalks.  One of my big concerns is we are not doing a good job with sidewalks.  I think everybody would agree with that.  The big problem is that there arenít enough resources, obviously money, to take good care of that problem.  I put a report together and gave to the Common Council and nothing was done.  I resubmitted that on March 30th of this year, basically the same report asking this Council to take a look at the sidewalks and to basically consider it.  It is their decision, not mine.  The bottom line is at the last Common Council meeting Councilman Poole said that we needed to take a look at sidewalks.  Well, I think he forgot about the March 30th letter I sent.  Maybe I am wasting my time, I donít know, at any rate I think this Council needs to take a look at that.  Obviously, Mr. Sam Iraci and myself have gotten to be close associates.  Yesterday he, Joe Hogenkamp and myself were working on this yearís budget when he got a phone call.  That phone call was not a good phone call.  The end result was the death of his son.  I canít tell you how much this man, that I have a lot of respect for, was destroyed in a short period of time.  He will come back.  If you know Sam Iraci, he will come back.  But the fact of the matter is it is always tough to lose a loved one, especially a father and son, or a daughter and a mother, a son and mother, so obviously my condolences go out to him.  Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.  In addition, prior to this meeting I received a call from Jason LaMonaco our Engineer that he may have to go to Rochester tomorrow, his father has a very very bad case of cerebral palsy and now he was taken to the hospital in the last couple of hours and he as a blood clot in his lungs.  So, last couple of weeks, between losing my brother about a month and a half ago and Jay Ralph, it has just been crazy around here.  Please keep those two families in your thoughts and prayers.   Thank you.

 

Council President Zeisz Ė I did want to commend the Chief.  He has worked many a Canal Fest but this is the first one he has been in charge and I felt that there was a really good presence down there for the event.  I also do not share the same sentiment as someone else.  I mean are there issues at Canal Fest?  Absolutely.  Are there problems every year?   Absolutely.  There are a lot of people down there.  Every year we plug away and try to make corrections that will work.  But it is still tough.  We will take a look at if for next year and do the same thing. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi Ė Can I interrupt you now for one second.  Our Police Chief, I forgot to commend him.  He and his department did an extraordinary job.  I have to tell you I was in McDonaldís parking lot walking with my wife towards the event, I said to my wife I am going to wave to the Chief who was on the top of the building but he wonít see me, well, I went like this and he saw me.  I thought it was a fluke so I tried it the next day and got the same results.  I know I am a big target and everything but the fact remains he was in the Captainís perch, Chiefís perch obviously.  Chief, you and your whole department did a fantastic job. 

 

Council President Zeisz Ė I didnít need to go up on the building again.  One of the old Chiefís took me up there nineteen years ago so I could stand on top of the building.  I was really excited when I saw that the new Chief had taken up the old tradition of standing on top of the towers.  Let me tell you, you can see everything.  I think it really helps to be able to direct the troops to certain spots.  So, other than that, thank you for taking the time to come out tonight and share your thoughts and opinions.  We are meeting next week.  Which is our regular meeting night.  Again, thank you for coming and drive home safely. 

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

217.     By Councilmember Boyle                                       seconded by Councilmember Slisz

            Resolved, that this Common Council adjourn until, August 3, 2010.  

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

Return to CITY OF TONAWANDA web page