Council Chambers

Tonawanda, New York

May 4, 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

 

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE MAYOR

 

A letter from PERMA, dated April 16, 2010, thanking the City for the opportunity to participate in the City of Tonawanda safety program.

 

A memo from the Department of Environment and Planning, dated March 31, 2010, regarding their quarterly report.

 

A letter from the United States Environmental Protection Agency to Senator Antoine M. Thompson, dated April 16, 2010, regarding the Tonawanda Landfill.

 

A proclamation proclaiming the month of May, 2010, to be North Tonawanda Meals on Wheels Month in the City of Tonawanda.

 

A proclamation proclaiming the week of May 10 to be Salvation Army Week in the City of Tonawanda.

 

A News Release from the Environmental Protection Agency, dated April 29, 2010, entitled EPA Requires Improvements at Coke Facility in Tonawanda, NY.

 

A letter from Time Warner Cable, dated May 1, 2010, keeping the City apprised of developments affecting Time Warner Cable subscribers.

 

A letter from Superintendent of Schools, Whitney K. Vantine, dated May 3, 2010, asking if any decisions have been made yet as to the property adjacent to the High School referred to as the Little League property.

            Ordered filed

 

 

COMMUNICATION FROM CITY OFFICIALS AND CORRESPONDENCE

 

The following monthly reports were received by the City Clerk:

            February Activity Report of the Fire Department

            March Activity Report of the Fire Department

April Monthly Report of the City Clerk

April minutes of the Traffic and Safety Advisory Board

            May agenda for the Civil Service Commission being held on May 6, 2010

                             Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                                    Ordered filed

 

A letter from Kenneth Johnson, Certified Towing, 441 Payne Avenue, North Tonawanda, NY, received April 22, 2010, requesting an opportunity to meet with the Common Council regarding the towing contract in the City of Tonawanda.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                        Ordered filed

           

COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC ON RESOLUTIONS

 

There were no comments from the public on the resolutions.

 

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

 

136.     By Councilmember Gilbert                                      seconded by Councilmember Poole

            Resolved, that the reading of the following resolution be waived.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

137.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, managing escalating medical insurance costs provided city of Tonawanda employees and retirees is of primary importance to the City of Tonawanda totaling over 18% of the city’s 2010 annual operating budget, and

Whereas, a principal means to achieving this goal is working with city employees and unions by providing medical insurance benefits negotiated under collective bargaining agreements under alternate medical insurance plans, providing comparable or better benefits, at reduced city costs, with the eventual goal of consolidating all employee medical insurance benefits under one common plan, with comparable levels of benefits, under one insurance carrier, and

Whereas, achieving this goal would provide the city and its employees the option of providing medical insurance benefits under experience rated, rather than existing community rated plans, thereby giving the city and its employees the ability to improve utilization and management of medical insurance benefits, an incentive to execute wellness programs, and realize savings in medical insurance costs, and

Whereas, the city has discussed these initiatives and goals with the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) (Local 1000) and the Uniformed Professional Firefighters Association, Local 859, I.A.F.F., AFL-CIO (Local 859), more specifically, changing medical insurance plans from the existing Independent Health Encompass C Plan to a Blue Cross Blue Shield (BC/BS) HMO 203 Plan, enhanced by the city reimbursing to a $3.00 co-payment on drug prescriptions and a $5.00 co-payment on doctor visits, with the inclusion of a “Dependent” rider covering dependents to age 29, regardless of whether those dependents are full-time students or not, and

Whereas, the BC/BS HMO 201 Plan is the coverage currently negotiated and provided the City of Tonawanda Police Benevolent Association (PBA), City of Tonawanda Employees Association (CTEA) and non-unionized city employees with that PBA Plan serving as the benchmark to transition all other city unions, retirees under the age of 65 and employees not represented by a union, and

Whereas, in a membership vote of Local 859 members held on March 5, 2010, Local 859 union members approved changing from their existing medical insurance plan negotiated under its collective bargaining agreement, namely the Independent Health Encompass C Plan to the BC/BS HMO 203 Plan, enhanced to a level of benefits referenced above, and contingent upon approval of terms tentatively agreed to between the parties, subject to review and approval of Local 859 membership and the Common Council (draft of Memorandum of Agreement attached for reference) and in a membership vote held on April 19,2010 the membership of Local 1000 also approved changing from their existing Independent Health Encompass C Plan to the BC/BS HMO 201 Plan outlined above, and

Whereas, to insure a smooth transition from the current plan to the new BC/BS plan, a target date of May 1, 2010 has been established for the Local 859 transition and a June 1, 2010 transition date for Local 1000, now, therefore be it

Resolved, the City of Tonawanda Common Council approves and authorizes the city changing city paid medical insurance plans for Local 859 employees to the Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO 201 Plan, enhanced as previously listed plan, effective May 1, 2010, and changing city paid medical insurance plan for Local 1000 employees to the same BC/BS HMO 201 Plan effective June 1, 2010, and be it further

Resolved, the Common Council authorizes the Mayor and City Treasurer to sign and execute any and all documents and agreements necessary to implement the above referenced changes, including the Memorandum of Agreement between the City and Locals 859 and 1000 which is on file in the Office of the City Clerk.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

138.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

Whereas, the City of Tonawanda, to facilitate and encourage redevelopment of the former Spaulding Fibre site in a manner complimentary to the surrounding neighborhood and anticipating permitted future uses more closely associated with existing economic market conditions; to provide better guidance in the use of property in the City’s central business district (CBD) so that properties are used in a manner more consistent and appropriate for urban downtown districts and to update the City’s existing Comprehensive Plan to support these amendments and changes, and

Whereas, committees consisting of public and private sector representatives have been working with Wendel Duchscherer Architects and Engineers on these amendments and changes to the City zoning ordinances and the City’s Comprehensive Plan, and

Whereas, these committees have concluded their work and have recommended a new zoning district for the former Spaulding Fibre site and some of the area immediately adjacent to this site, a new zoning overlay district for the CBD and certain amendments and modifications to the City’s Comprehensive Plan, and

Whereas, in accordance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act  (SEQRA), the City wishes to establish itself as Lead Agency in the review process for the potential adoption of these zoning amendments and Comprehensive Plan amendments, since the City of Tonawanda Common Council is the entity responsible for approving any of the above referenced changes or amendments and is the entity responsible for considering any and all potential environmental impact of these potential changes and the appropriate corresponding measures to mitigate these potential impacts, now, therefore be it

Resolved, the Common Council of the City of Tonawanda wishes to establish itself as SEQRA Lead Agency and authorizes the appropriate mailings. 

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

139.     By Councilmember Gilbert                                      seconded by Council President Zeisz

            Resolved, that the reading of the following resolution be waived.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

140.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

Whereas, the City of Tonawanda, to facilitate and encourage development of the Young Street corridor in a manner complimentary to the surrounding neighborhood and anticipating permitted future uses to revitalize the area; to promote uses more consistent and appropriate for urban downtown districts and to update the City’s existing Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP) to support these amendments and changes, and

Whereas, committees consisting of public and private sector representatives have been working with Wendel Duchscherer Architects and Engineers on these amendments and changes to the City’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, and

Whereas, these committees have concluded their work and have recommended the following projects:

 

  1. Narrowing of Young Street from 4 lanes to 2 lanes, with left turn lanes located at Delaware Street and Main Street.

  2. Provide limited on-street parking, landscaping, and streetscape improvements along Young Street.

  3. Develop approximately 22,000 square feet of new street front retail uses with office and residential uses on the upper floor.

  4. Landscaping and aesthetic improvements to the existing City surface parking area.

  5. Provide a boardwalk and boat docking facilities along the Ellicott Creek shoreline.

  6. Create improved pedestrian amenities and open space areas.

  7. Improvements to the area around the Niagara Street Pedestrian Bridge to include a fishing platform, canoe/ kayak launch, and enhanced pedestrian facilities, and

 

Whereas, in accordance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act  (SEQRA), the City wishes to establish itself as Lead Agency in the review process for the potential adoption of these zoning amendments and Comprehensive Plan amendments, since the City of Tonawanda Common Council is the entity responsible for approving any of the above referenced changes or amendments and is the entity responsible for considering any and all potential environmental impact of these potential changes and the appropriate corresponding measures to mitigate these potential impacts, now, therefore be it

Resolved, the Common Council of the City of Tonawanda wishes to establish itself as SEQRA Lead Agency. 

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

141.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

Resolved that Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi is authorized to execute a Lease Agreement between the City of Tonawanda and James R. Chilton d/b/a/ Waterbikes Adventures, LLC for the purposes of display and rental of hydro-bikes and electric crafts along the Canal and Ellicott Creek.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

           

142.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that permission be granted to the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas to hang a Women’s Expo Banner across Main Street from May 10, 2010, through May 22, 2010.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

143.     By Council President Zeisz                                     seconded by Councilmember Gilbert

            Resolved, that the reading of the following four resolutions be waived.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

144.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, a $25.00 Special Events Application fee and $100.00 Special Events Police Services fee were received by the City Clerk from Ride for Roswell, 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 our Police Department and the event chairperson, now, therefore be it

            Resolved, that permission be granted to Ride for Roswell to use various streets in the City of Tonawanda for their annual event being held on Saturday, June 26, 2010, from 5:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. 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 June 18, 2010.

 

Councilmember Boyle – It was a few meetings back that there was a, somebody else put through a resolution, I mean a request for a special events fee and it stated in there that they would pick up any overtime costs, but this Ride for Roswell, it’s a $100 special events police service fee.  Are they gonna still cover any police overtime costs?

 

Council President Zeisz – No, it’s the fee that they pay.  It’s just the way the special events is set up. 

 

City Clerk Jan Bodie - Nobody gets charged more than $100 for the police fees.

 

Councilmember Boyle - Why wasn’t it written like that in that one resolution that said that they would cover any overtime?  It was strictly put down as overtime. 

 

Council President Zeisz – I can’t recall. 

 

Councilmember Boyle – I was just wondering.

 

City Clerk Bodie - I will find out for you. 

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

           

145.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, a $25.00 Special Events Application fee has been received by the City Clerk from Partners in Art, and

            Whereas, the application has been 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 Partners in Art to hold their annual art show on Sunday, July 11, 2010, from 8:30 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. 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 July 1, 2010.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

146.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, a $25.00 Special Events Application fee has been received by the City Clerk from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and

            Whereas, the application has been 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 Ride for Missing Children must be coordinated with our Police Department and the event chairperson, now, therefore be it

            Resolved, that permission be granted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to hold their Ride for Missing Children on Friday, May 14, 2010, from 7:20 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. 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 May 9, 2010.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

           

147.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, the City of Tonawanda Common Council, in conjunction with the City of Tonawanda Waterfront Revitalization Committee, the New York State Department of State (Division of Coastal Resources), the City of Tonawanda Planning Board, and with the input and participation of City Departments and the citizens of the City, has completed the City of Tonawanda the Gateway Harbor Revitalization Project (Project), to be added the City’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, and

Whereas, pursuant to Part 617 of the implementing regulations pertaining to Article 8 (State Environmental Quality Review Act - SEQRA) of the Environmental Conservation Law, the City of Tonawanda Common Council (Common Council) designated themselves as Lead Agency and conducted a Coordinated environmental (SEQR) review for this Type I action, and

Whereas, the Common Council has received input from the public, through public meetings and other public outreach, and from other involved and interested agencies, and has taken a hard look at the social, economic and environmental impacts of the adoption of this Project; and

Whereas, the findings of this review indicate that the adoption of the Project will not adversely affect the natural resources of the City and/or the health, safety and welfare of the public, and will help manage growth and redevelopment in the City in a manner that will have potentially beneficial impacts on aesthetics, recreation, transportation and community character; now, be it further

Resolved, that the City of Tonawanda Common Council, acting as lead government entity for this action, has determined that the adoption of the Project will not result in any significant adverse impacts on the environment, and a Negative Declaration is hereby issued, based on the reasons as set forth in the Notice of Determination of Significance; and Be It Further

Resolved, that the City of Tonawanda Common Council recognizes the fact that the acceptance of the Project incurs no direct environmental impacts, and that the implementation of any suggested actions under this plan, which may have potential impacts on the physical development of the City, may require subsequent SEQRA review; and be in finally

Resolved, that the Common Council hereby authorizes the Mayor to shall sign any and all associated documents pursuant to this Declaration and determination and authorizes the City undertake the preparation of appropriate notices and filings. 

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

           

148.     By Council President Zeisz                                     seconded by Councilmember Boyle

            Resolved, that in recognition and compliance with the “New York State Open Meetings Law”, this Common Council will meet in Executive Session in the Common Council Chambers for the purpose of pending exempt City business, and further be it

            Resolved, that upon conclusion of the above stated business matters, the meeting shall again be open to the general public.  The reason for the Executive Session is to discuss personnel of particular persons.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Council President Zeisz - Just a point of information for the people that are here from Morgan Street, at the next meeting, which will be the 18th, there’ll be a resolution to make Morgan two-way, from Young Street to Delaware, the section right by Burger King. 

 

Marshall Banks, 132 Niagara Shore Drive – I was wondering, I haven’t been able to get a hold of the Parks Department.  You call, you get an answering machine and they never return a call.  I’m looking to have someone look at the benches where the Canal and the River come together.  They’re all, they’ve been torn out.  I talked to them last year about it and they said it wasn’t in the budget, their budget, so I don’t know how to get a hold of them. 

 

Council President Zeisz - Well, the Mayor is making a note right now. 

Marshall Banks – There’s one other thing too.  The garbage cans that they put out, the City puts out, have they looked at putting something more permanent?  You might be able to get some of the businesses, like Dairy Queen, maybe McDonalds, Mississippi Mudds and that because all that happens is, is the garbage cans end up in the Canal.  I talked to several people there and they say lose two or three of them every year.  It’s at the point where the fence is.  When they move them to the street to get emptied they end up in the Canal, the whole thing.  So maybe they could come up, maybe you could get them to donate some kind of containers like they have in the City, something more permanent that’s anchored, but it’s just a suggestion.

 

Rebecca Reeve, 21 East Hill – I’m here on behalf of a lot of the residents on East Hill.  There was an issue a couple months ago, we did have “No Standing” signs on our street and Mrs. Lee Miller, obviously the widow of Dave Miller, was asked to get the signs placed because of the patrons of the Dome Stadium Cassata’s, parking on our street, 4:00 in the morning, drunks walking down our street.  We haven’t had any problems, we have been able to park on our street.  Lately there have been problems with people parking on the street so we do have a new sign in place on our front lawn, 21 East Hill and it is a dead end street, it’s not a thorough fare, it’s two way, there is enough parking on the one side of the street, all we’re asking for is the parking on the north side of the street.  We also received in our mailboxes a letter to all the residents on East Hill, “Notice to East Hill Street residents, there is a City Ordinance that has not been enforced in many years and in accordance with the provisions of Section 62-116, no person shall stand a vehicle upon any of the following streets or parts of streets.  East Hill Street, both sides from Main Street to the end.  As of 3/09/2010, this ordinance will be strictly enforced.  Vehicles will be ticketed and or towed by the City at owner’s expense.  No exceptions will be allowed.  Please notify family and friends.”  I have a copy if you’d like to see it, we did send a letter to Mr. Boyle.

 

Councilmember Boyle – That is in Traffic & Safety right now. We’re waiting for their recommendation.   

 

Council President Zeisz - Well, on the parking.

 

Councilmember Boyle - Yes.

 

Rebecca Reeve - …we don’t know who put this in our mailboxes.  It was there one day.

 

Council President Zeisz – But that is the City Ordinance. 

 

Rebecca Reeve - That’s fine, we just don’t know who put it there.   

 

Councilmember Boyle – That was attached also. 

 

Council President Zeisz – Oh, Traffic & Safety did it? 

 

Councilmember Boyle - No, no, that was attached to the memo that went to Traffic & Safety. 

 

Council President Zeisz - Because I don’t know how they got that, is what I’m saying.

 

Councilmember Boyle - I don’t know if the police put it there. 

 

Council President Zeisz – The Chief’s saying “no”.    

 

Councilmember Boyle - But you received that in, that had to be what, about …

 

Rebecca Reeve - …March 12th.  We’ve been waiting for it to get on the docket and it wasn’t on the docket, so now tonight’s it’s not, so I’m here talking for everybody of the residents on the street.   We do have a couple signatures on the letter.  We haven’t had any problems before, we’ve been there for almost 18, 19 years, the woman across the street, Becky Strauss, has lived there for 25 to 30 years.  Not to sound rude, but we did have a neighbor move in and that’s where the problem started.  We’re not blaming him but we just want our parking back.  It is a major hardship on us because I switch vehicles every night, I come home late at night, so if anything I don’t want to have to call the police for an escort because there’s the Dome across the street.  I’m not comfortable walking that way, my mother’s not comfortable, we don’t have any elderly people on our street, besides the new neighbor that just moved in, but his driveway allows for at least four vehicles.  The woman across the street from us, she’s got enough room to park two vehicles side by side, probably three or four vehicles each.  The only people that are affected are our next-door neighbor, 17, we’re 21, 23 and the end of the street, which is technically Main Street, has enough room for one car in her driveway garage sort of thing.  If we were to park on Main Street and walk to our houses, we’re putting everybody, all of the tenants on both sides of our street on Main Street into a hardship as well because we’re taking their spots.  Our family and our next-door neighbor at 17 East Hill do share a driveway.  Between the two of our families, we have five vehicles.  It’s a little difficult, we’ve wasted a tank of gas, switching cars, so I don’t know if you can push this through. 

 

Councilmember Boyle - Traffic & Safety, from what the Fire Department says, they need that space to get emergency vehicles down there. 

 

Council President Zeisz - I don’t remember how many years ago, but this has come up before.  This isn’t the first time this has come up, but I know in the past, it was an issue. 

 

Rebecca Reeve – With Mr. Davis, who just passed away, that is Becky Strauss’s father, that was also an issue with the parking.  My grandparents come over, they’re elderly, we can’t park them on the street, like we said, we’d have to walk down to Main Street or whatnot.  Becky’s father when he was alive, he was in a wheelchair, for the last two months it was a major hardship when he did come over.  Also, the moving van.  He lives in an apartment down the street from us and they have a small driveway and a gentleman just moved in the other day and he had a moving van parked on the street, there’s no where else to park a moving van.  The cops were called, they did not receive a ticket, but just so that you guys know that the gentleman who just moved into our neighborhood has been making sure that this is in effect. 

 

Councilmember Boyle – They put “No Parking”  signs on both sides of the road.

 

Rebecca Reeve – There’s one at the end of the street, one in Becky Strauss front yard, our front yard, and one at the end of the street by the stop sign, on both sides.

 

Councilmember Boyle - What’s your address again? 

 

Rebecca Reeve - 21 East Hill.

 

Councilmember Boyle – Somebody going to be around tomorrow?

 

Rebecca Reeve – Yes.

 

Councilmember Boyle - Okay, I’m gonna come over and see you tomorrow.  I just want to measure some things. 

 

Council President Zeisz - Thank you and we are looking into it, to do something.

 

Samantha Crocker, 510 Main Street – We are here to try to ask, and I’ve never done any of this before so I don’t necessarily know how to ask, but we would like to have a dog park in Tonawanda and I have 500 signatures on a petition.  Do you need to see it?   

 

Council President Zeisz – Well, eventually we’ll get it from you.

 

Samantha Crocker - I have a couple areas that I would really like to utilize and the lady at the end of the row (name inaudible),  she did a land survey of areas in the back of Veteran’s Park that show where it can and can’t be used, based on Federally reserved wetlands back there also.  So I know there’s areas back there that couldn’t be used and there’s some areas that just seem like they could be used but they’re not utilized. 

 

Council President Zeisz - Actually, none of that, are you talking about where the field is next to the park?

 

Samantha Crocker - Behind the water tower where there’s lots of trees

 

Council President Zeisz - So back down further by Two Mile Creek.

 

Samantha Crocker - South of Little league Drive, on the south side of Little League Drive is essentially where I would love to have it. I’m totally open to ideas of anywhere else.  I just think it would be really nice to have a park in Tonawanda for the dogs.

 

Council President Zeisz - A lot of that area is where we’re in the process of working on a housing development that’s going to go in that area.    

 

Samantha Crocker – We’re open to any area.  I know the Dog Warden is on board, I talked to him, he said he’s really excited about this and he’d love to see it happen, he would help enforce rules and regulations that we would have there to enforce licensing and anything the dogs needed, like shots and stuff like that.  He also said there was a couple areas in the City that he would look at too if Vet’s Park wasn’t an option for us. I have a list here of proposed rules and regulations and it’s not concrete or set in stone because I wanted to have a vet look at it and I wanted to have an obedience trainer look at and stuff like that too but I have copies for each of you.   

 

Pam Priano, 44 Scott Street – I was looking down at Niawanda Park, down toward the end, closer to Isle View Park and the area off of there, where you can just pull in…

 

Councilmember Gilbert  - …that’s open to dogs right now. 

 

Councilmember Boyle - That’s open to dogs. 

 

Pam Priano – That’s open to dogs right now, but we’re talking about a fenced-in area that would be small dogs and large dogs area that people would just pull in, go into the fenced-in area, let their dog off the leash.

 

Council President Zeisz – Currently, that right now is being studied, along with basically, the end of Vet’s for a pavilion but the targeted location is Niawanda Park where you are talking about.

 

Pam Priano - Once you put that pavilion in, is there gonna be still dog walking there?

 

Council President Zeisz - We haven’t even gotten that far yet because as far as the dog area, that’s on a temporary basis at this point.

 

Pam Priano – And I wanted to also talk about the guy who was talking about the garbage cans.  There’s so few down at Niawanda Park.  I’ve walked down there, I’ve already brought my pooper scooper down there because I really would like to keep that open and I scoop poop myself but to throw it away, you’ve got one can every 50’ or over a football field apart, and they’re on wheels, and the graffiti on the cans is disgusting, what is written on them.  It’s a beautiful park there and you have these garbage cans that look like they’ve been through World War III so, I just see it as a detriment to the City to have that kind of look down there.

 

Council President Zeisz – Did you have any other possible locations?

 

Samantha Crocker – I don’t know of any possible locations.  I was hoping that you guys could help me on that actually. 

 

Councilmember Gilbert - Mr. President, what about Eastern Park?

 

Pam Priano - I thought of Eastern too, the other side when you drive in, on your left hand side there.

 

Council President Zeisz - There’s certainly areas that we can look at. 

 

Samantha Crocker - I looked at the GRS sight and there’s  vacant property owned by the City on the border of the Town of Tonawanda on the east side of the City of Tonawanda.  It is about a six acre parcel.  It’s not as good as a location as others, because it wouldn’t be as central but I think it’s along where the landfill is in the Town of Tonawanda. 

 

Councilmember Boyle - Over by Fillmore?  Raintree Island?  That’s where the golf course was supposed to go.      

 

Council President Zeisz – Actually the landfill is a possibility too because it can be used for things like walking or playing golf, as long as you’re not building homes on it, so that’s a possibility.  You said you had 500 signatures.  Are they all City residents? 

 

Samantha Crocker - They’re not all City residents, but people ask me when they sign, can I sign even though I’m not a resident?  I actually encourage them, I said you could utilize that space, I encourage you to sign because that shows that you’re going to be coming into our City of Tonawanda, utilizing space that we have, seeing our City, possibly moving into the City because you want to be closer to things you enjoy, and utilize things like Mississippi Mudss while you’re here and just shopping here and doing other stuff here and I thought that would be actually even better, just to say, you know what, you’re coming from Grand Island into our City.      

 

Councilmember Boyle – How big of an area?

 

Council President Zeisz – What size footprint?

 

Samantha Crocker - We need at least an acre.  I would like more than that because…

 

Councilmember Boyle - …that’s big.  My bulldog would run half a length and fall over.

 

Samantha Crocker – We’re gonna have a large dog area, and we’re gonna have a small dog area.  Only small dogs can go in the small dog area.  Large dogs and small dogs can go into the large dog area but that’s at the owner’s risk, if they want smaller dogs in there. 

 

Council President Zeisz - How big is a small dog?

 

Samantha Crocker – It would be 20 lbs. 

 

Councilmember Gilbert - How would you keep the two…

 

Samantha Crocker -…its gonna be fenced off in between.  When you first enter, I mean I have a, it’s not to scale obviously because I don’t know where I’m going…

 

Councilmember Boyle - …do you have stuff to hand out to us? 

 

Samantha Crocker – There would be a gate that would automatically close, so at first you would walk in to about a 10’ x 10’ little room that’s fenced in and that gate would automatically close, and then off of that there would be a separate gate for big dogs and a separate gate for little dogs, so there’s still no chance for them to get away from you’re opening that second gate because they’re still in an enclosed gated area.  So big dogs would go in one side, little dogs would go on the other side.  The big dog area is obviously bigger than the small dog area.  The big dog area I would like to have larger, hopefully, and I’m asking for an acre, but I would love to have it larger because if you plan on trying to have stuff like obedience demonstrations, and all kinds of events happening there during the year, I was hoping to get dog shows…

 

Councilmember Gilbert - …in negotiations, always ask for more and then settle for less.

 

Councilmember Boyle - What is it gonna cost the City to put this fence up? 

 

Samantha Crocker - Nothing.  We’re not gonna ask the City for money.  If you guys want to offer it, I will… 

 

Councilmember Gilbert - …is this a business venture that you’re trying to…

 

Samantha Crocker - …this isn’t a business venture, we’re going to make it non-profit.  If you guys say “yes”, then I will go ahead and form a board, make a non-profit organization and do it through fund raising and stuff like that to raise the money for a fence.  I contacted a couple fence companies and I’m finding a difference.  I contacted one fence company, which I won’t name, and they said well, for an acre of fencing with self-closing fences, $48,000.00 sounds like a great price.  I said, wow, I don’t know how  I am gonna do that.   My son opens up the yellow pages and he points to one and says, call them, and I call them, $16,000 with the exact same paper that I faxed the first people.  It was $16,000 if they put it in, they offered $11,000 if we use our own volunteers.   

 

Mr. Crocker – We want to get the whole community involved and get volunteers from Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts to help us put the fence up.  That way the community is more aware of what’s going on and we also want to have an obstacle course and try to get a couple bigger places like even involving dog shows.  You could open up a whole venue for the City of Tonawanda and bring in some money.  It will definitely help.   

 

Councilmember Gilbert – Could you have a Bull Dog Day for Blake?

 

Councilmember Boyle - I’m just looking at City’s liability on this thing.  If it’s on City property, a dog bites…

 

Samantha Crocker – In other dog parks, each handler is responsible for his or her own dog, Tonawanda will have no responsibility for injuries to humans or animals, each handler is going to be responsible for the supervision of him or her animals.  Handlers must remain in the park at all times, I mean there’s gonna be a lot of proposed rules, I don’t have them exactly, but essentially, it would be up to the individual owners of what happens, and like I said, the dog warden said that he would be more than happy to stop by there, check on things, make sure that dogs are acting appropriately, ask them to leave if they’re acting too aggressive, try to keep track of what’s going on, which is great because I know I couldn’t do that by myself. 

 

Mr. Crocker  – We haven’t looked into the overall legality of everything, it’s just an idea, we’re looking to see if you guys are on-board and if you’re on-board, we can start setting everything up.  There’re a couple of lawyers we can talk to about these things.  

 

Councilmember Boyle – I’d have to talk to our attorney. It also has to have water, wouldn’t you, water ran into it?

 

Mr. Crocker – That’s another thing we were thinking about, some kind of running water possibly, that would be great. A lot of people carry water bottles with them, it’s just common sense basically. 

 

Councilmember Boyle – Down in Florida, they’re all over the place.  Our grand-puppy,  I think it was pretty cool, just seeing him run around like the idiot dog that it was.

 

Councilmember Poole – Have you looked at other “bark parks”?

 

Samantha Crocker – We got this book that, it sold for $70 and I wouldn’t buy it, so I went to the library and found it and it has a whole bunch of information and it has a lot of information on other parks, what their rules were, how it went, what their liability things were different per state, how much money they spent and different ways they enforced their rules, it was very interesting.  Then we talked to people in Buffalo who just did their dog park and I also talked to people, oh I can’t remember, but it starts with an “L” and it’s not near here, it’s about an hour away and they’re all willing to come on-board and say what they had to do in order to get it done and the trials that they went through, problems that they faced and stuff like that.  So I thought that was really nice of them.

Councilmember Poole - So there is an established “bark park” in Buffalo?

 

Samantha Crocker - It’s not called “bark park”, it’s called the “bone yard” or something like that, so there is one there and it is established.

 

Councilmember Gilbert – This was all started by your son’s idea, right? 

 

Samantha Crocker - Yeah, it was actually.

 

Councilmember Gilbert - Very nice job.  It takes a lot to do what you guys are doing and I really commend you.

 

Samantha Crocker - He actually got the idea out of a library book about dogs, he was just reading it and it said, if you want to do this in your community, you should contact your local Mayor, or something like that.  That’s where it started. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi – You did exactly what I asked you to do, so there’re 500 signatures sitting on the table.  Jacob is to be commended, no matter what happens, to get involved like this is quite a project.  I think he’s gonna be the next Mayor of the City of Tonawanda.

 

Council President Zeisz - I think what we should probably do would be to get some more information from a vet and get the particulars as far as how well these, you know if we could more information on how well they work out because I’m concerned about the welfare of all the different dogs coming in.  

 

Samantha Crocker – Just so I know for sure who you want the information from.  The Niagara Vet Society... 

 

Pam Priano -…I would just like to put in, I’m usually from California, they have them all over California, I’ve been to New York City with my dogs, they have them in New York City, and people don’t bring their dogs there if they’re not dog friendly. 

 

Council President Zeisz - And in New York City, if you don’t go there, you go no where because they have no yards.

 

Samantha Crocker - The Niagara Frontier Vet Society said that after they review the rules and stuff, they don’t mind being on-board.  I don’t know if that’s what you’re looking for.  The SPCA said the same thing. 

 

Council President Zeisz – Why don’t we do this.  Maybe it would be better if I contacted you and you came in on a night when we don’t have a formal Council meeting so we could kind of sit and get our bearings as far as where to go with this thing because obviously, you’ve done a lot of leg work but I think it would be best if we sat together and everybody could think of what questions they have, what we need to do going forward, what we need to find out, things like that.  So why don’t we do that.  I’ll have the City Clerk contact you to set up a time when you can come into the Council in the near future, okay?

 

Samantha Crocker – Jacob did a little “thank you” that he would like to show you guys.  Do you mind?

 

Council President Zeisz – Not at all.

 

Pam Priano – I just was elected President of the Senior Center Organization and I talked to, she had a petition but I don’t have the original with me, I don’t know what happened, they disappeared, I have copies, but the parking lot behind the Senior Center is unsafe and a liability I believe for the City and I was wondering if when and a way of getting it repaved. 

 

Council President Zeisz – It’s on the summer docket.  The question is not the paving right now but there’s sewer work that has to be done behind the buildings, all along Koenig Alley, but if everything goes well, it’s gonna get paved this summer.  

 

Pam Priano - I can take that back to them and give them a reassurance. 

 

Council President Zeisz - Unless the Mayor tells you something different, but it is planned for this summer. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi – Basically the situation that Council President Zeisz is referring to is the fact that the stores along that east side of Main Street have no connection to a storm sewer.  Obviously they have sanitary, but no storm and what we need to do is put the storm line behind those stores then (inaudible) to the Main line going down Broad Street and that’s what he is referring to.  Obviously, you don’t’ want to pave and then come through there and dig it up, it doesn’t make good sense.  Hopefully, we’re gonna get that done as soon as we can. 

 

Pam Priano - And I have one other thing.  I went over to 202 Broad Street and went through the building there, the old Board of Education, and I was wondering if you might consider making that into the Senior Citizen Center. 

 

Council President Zeisz - No.  First of all, the building is in bad shape, and second of all, the Council hasn’t really ever talked about moving over to that location. 

 

Pam Priano - Right, I’m bringing it up tonight to say can you consider it.  It’s a one floor plan, it’s beautiful, there’s a park right next to it for the seniors, it’s easy accessible, it’s not on downtown Main Street where they’re fighting for parking or they’re fighting to get (inaudible) the front streets and things like that. 

 

Councilmember Boyle - There is no parking there either.

 

Pam Priano - There’s parking across the street.

 

Councilmember Boyle – That’s Central School’s.

 

Council President Zeisz - That’s the School’s.

 

Pam Priano - I’m sure they probably wouldn’t have a problem with it at night when nothing’s going on where the majority of the parking happens anyhow at the Senior Citizen Center. 

 

Councilmember Boyle – How would they cross the street then?

 

Pam Priano – It’s not a busy street like Main Street is.  But I don’t know, you’re all going to be senior citizens one day and think about it.  A lot of you probably are right now too but you are not members of the Senior Citizen’s Center.   I’m just trying to find a nice place.  I’ve been to North Tonawanda, a lot of citizens from Tonawanda joined North Tonawanda Senior Citizen Center because it is such a nice place and also the one on Ensminger in the Town of Tonawanda and you go and look at our own City of Tonawanda Senior Citizen Center and it’s so below par  from the other places. 

 

Councilmember Boyle – You know what’s really weird is because I’ve talked to some people and they’re asking me, why would we ever want to move the Senior Center.

 

Pam Priano - They don’t want to move to Highland.  That’s what they’re worried about. 

 

Councilmember Boyle – Who said they’re moving to Highland?  

 

Pam Priano – There is a petition happening.  There is talk at the center right now about the possibility of moving to Highland School.

 

Councilmember Boyle - How are they gonna purchase Highland School…  

 

Council President Zeisz - …well, my understanding was it was discussed at the senior’s dinner.  That was my understanding of it because I took some phone calls and I completely shut people off because number one, that wasn’t discussed by anyone on this Common Council so I don’t know where it’s coming from. 

 

Pam Priano -That was discussed before the senior dinner because people said they walked into there and the director there was having people sign a petition that they were going to Highland or whatever it was.  They approached me on this.

 

Council President Zeisz – I don’t know what they were signing a petition for because it’s never even been talked about and it’s not gonna happen. 

 

Pam Priano - I just reassured them that it wasn’t happening because they asked me and I said I know nothing about moving to Highland and they all said we don’t want to and that was the whole uproar about that. 

 

Councilmember Boyle – So Doreen was having the petition being signed? 

 

Pam Priano – Somebody told me that that’s what happened when they walked in. 

 

Councilmember Boyle – Because I talked to Doreen and she was unaware, she wants to stay where it is, I mean, I’m gonna go talk to her tomorrow.

 

Pam Priano - When I suggested the Broad Street one to her, she was so happy, she said, oh my god, we could have the room where we could leave things out, we could have a ceramics room, we could have a craft room, and leave it out and not have to put things away.  That was my understanding from her.  That was what her feeling was to me at a board meeting that I was in charge of, so if other things are being said…

 

Councilmember Boyle - …because my wife was approached at work, she gave somebody my phone number to say, to call up and I went right over and talked to Doreen because I said that’s never been discussed by this Council right now, to move the Senior Citizen Center anywhere. 

 

Pam Priano – I’m sorry, I was at the board meeting, they were asking, actually then they came to the meeting, Linda Foels, and they asked her, they approached her about Highland School and she says, “no”.  That is where it came from, I don’t know who brought up Highland School but the discussion was around that, because the tower people said they wouldn’t go to Highland and all this other stuff.  I’m coming as a messenger and to consider the fact.  I’m not saying it’s something that should be done, it’s a consideration only. 

 

Council President Zeisz - Right, with the Board of Ed building, I said “no” because we have never talked about it as an issue. 

 

Pam Priano – I know it’s never been talked about, I understand that.

 

Councilmember Gilbert – I think that needs a new roof on it.

 

Pam Priano – It needs a roof and it’s leaking in the first three rooms.

 

Councilmember Gilbert – The last time I was there, it was leaking pretty bad. 

 

Pam Priano – It’s a tragedy that they’re allowing it to happen. It’s a decent building and it’s a beautiful setting around it. 

 

Bud Hulpiau, Dog Control Officer in the City of Tonawanda – This is on the dog issue, the dog park.  I talked with Samantha this morning and I expressed many reservations on this with her but she’s come across with every time I threw something at her, she had an answer for it.  Small dogs, big dogs, rabies shots, and she had an answer for everything, so if you can at all afford it, it would be great because I stop a lot of people, the dog’s not on leashes, whereas the dog park, where can I go? I told them they have one in North Tonawanda but I don’t think they’re using that anymore, so that would be great if we could have one, if we can afford it. 

 

Council President Zeisz - To tell you the truth, I don’t have an answer for that, what’s gonna happen with the playground.  It’s the school’s property.  I don’t know what their plan is at this point. 

 

Councilmember Gilbert -  That’s School Board property. 

 

Councilmember Boyle - Do we know what the school board’s gonna do?

 

Elizabeth Olka - My understanding is it goes with the property unless some stipulation could be made and which I think if enough people came out and made that complaint, I do hear it’s the most utilized playground in the City.

 

COMMENTS FROM THE COUNCILMEMBERS AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Councilmember Boyle – I forgot to mention, last meeting the Tonawanda Youth Board had their Service Youth Award Dinner. The Mayor was there, myself, and all the Youth Board was present and this year’s recipient was Tom Burdo and anyone that knows Tom Burdo, he was well deserving of it.  There was around 38 people that were there, past players got up and spoke and there was an article in the newspaper today and it broke down exactly what he was doing, it was very well attended and I think he deserved it.  

 

Councilmember Gilbert – Couple things.  I’d like to say my appreciation for the Hollers for their efforts in the benefit for the skate park.  It was great to see that they raised $21,000 that night.  I would like to remind everyone that May 10th is the candidate’s night for the school board election.  That’s this upcoming board of election is very important for everybody in the City and I think everybody should take the time to really focus on the candidates and who they are and what they’re about because they’re gonna dictate what happens in the school district in the future.  I’d like to echo Mr. Boyle’s sentiments about Mr. Burdo.  Having been coached by him and coached with him, I can attest to his belief in the kids and the way he treats them.  And I’d just like to commend Jacob and his family for their efforts.  I think it’s great, it started off on Facebook, I joined up so I could see it and see what you guys were about, I think it’s a great idea, if we can help you, I think it’s a great idea with the dogs.  And I’d like to thank everyone for coming tonight. 

 

Councilmember Slisz – Nothing at this time. 

 

Councilmember Poole – I also would like to echo Mr. Gibert’s comment, especially, this is a great number of people in comparison to what we usually have, so glad to see you all here.  And the Greg Holler Memorial Skate Park was an immensely successful event with the help of a lot of the faces that I see here too.

 

Mayor Pilozzi – I too would like to echo the comments that have already been made.  Tom Burdo, I’ve known for a long time, you don’t find anybody more dedicated to the kids of this community, he’s done a great job for many, many years, he’s got some health problems now.  Same thing with the Holler family, they had a very traumatic experience with a child within their family and decided to take the bull by the horns and try to turn something traumatic and terrible into something nice.  To come up with $21,000 for that effort is just fantastic, and I gotta say, in this community, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fund raiser go array, we are a “lunch bag” town we aren’t made of executives and that sort of thing and whenever there’s a fund raiser, you see the community come up big and that’s saying a lot for the people that live here and I for one, appreciate that.  Jacob Crocker is an interesting study.  He and his Mom and Dad came into my office three months ago and believe when I tell you, a few people come in and want to talk to the Mayor and I try to be as open as possible, and here’s this young man standing in front of me talking about a dog park and I listened and he asked me, what do I do from here.  So I told him, you really need to get out and get a petition, well 500 names on a petition is no small task so he’s to be congratulated.  Now, the task is being shifted to this Council and myself so we’ll see what we can do, and I think Council President’s recommendation to do that on a night is probably a good way to do business.  It will give us a little bit of time and you folks a little time.  Bill Davis and Joe Kohler.  Bill Davis was instrumental for many, many years in the formation and the running of the Underwater Squad here in the City of Tonawanda.  He goes back a long ways, way before I became a Councilmember and we have a lot to be thankful for with his efforts.  Joe Kohler was our Building Inspector for a number of years too.  They’ll both be missed and they contributed a lot to this City.  Lastly, as most people know, there’s been some pretty traumatic experiences here within this community, in particular in the Police Department.  I was gone, I was in contact everyday that I was gone, the people that I thought (inaudible) still here, it wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t fun.  I’ve seen some careers ruined and I’ve also seen the fact that some people have some concerns about how our Police Department operated in the past.  That’s all I’m gonna say, it’s been litigated, the new chapter is basically sitting to my left, we have an interim Police Chief, John Ivancic, stand up John, he’s a go-to guy.  Before I left for my vacation, I asked John to step into the position, he’s on the list to begin with for Police Chief.  There’s been a shift in terms of responsibilities, people that were lieutenants before now are captains, there’s some people that moved into lieutenant slots.  I’ve been checking with them every day to make sure we have a smooth running department, and that we rebuild the confidence that we should have in our Police Department.  That’s part and parcel to my job and that’s a big part of the Interim Chief’s job.  It’s a black eye, we will get better, it’s again my job to come up with a new Police Chief and I plan to do that as expeditiously as I can, so I guess that’s all I can say about this particular situation and I pass an apology to the people of this community.      

 

Council President Zeisz – I just offer my condolences once again to Joe Kohler’s family and also Bill Davis.  In different ways, one is a City employee, one is a volunteer, they did great things for the community.  Bill and his wife have been a part of this community for many years and they’ll be missed.  I thank everyone for taking the time to come out tonight.  Drive home safely and God bless. 

 

AJOURNMENT

 

149.     By Councilmember Gilbert                                      seconded by Councilmember Slisz

            Resolved, that this Common Council adjourn until, May 18, 2010.  

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

 

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