Council Chambers

Tonawanda, New York

November 16, 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

 

Proclamation

honoring the

REDSKIN CHEERLEADERS

BRAVE CHEERLEADERS

RENEGADE CHEERLEADERS

 

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE MAYOR

 

A letter from GHD Consultion Engineers, LLC, dated November 2, 2010, explaining that since 2009 Stearns & Wheler merged with GHD and will now be using the name GHD Consulting Engineers LLC.

           

A letter from City Clerk Janice Bodie, dated November 10, 2010, summarizing what the Clinton Park Gazebo Committee would like to see happen to the Clinton Park Gazebo.

 

A letter to County Executive Chris Collins and Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick, dated November 10, 2010, regarding the budget curtailments of the Erie County Library system and how it will impact the City of Tonawanda Library.

 

A letter from the Commissioner Gerard J. Sentz, P.E., to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority expressing his support of the Tonawanda Rails to Trails.

            Ordered filed

 

COMMUNICATION FROM CITY OFFICIALS AND CORRESPONDENCE

The following monthly reports were received by the City Clerk:

            October minutes of the Plumbing Board

            November minutes of the Civil Service Commission

            General, Water & Sewer Revenue & Expenditure Reports and Budget Adjustment

                        Report for the City of Tonawanda as of November 16, 2010

                   Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                        Ordered filed

 

A Certificate of Attendance for William Poole at the 2010 International Law Enforcement Symposium.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A Notice of Public Hearing by the City of Tonawanda Board of Appeals, to be held on November 29, 2010, at 6:30 P.M. in the Community Room at City Hall for a variance request to erect a new 7’ X 4’ sign in front of 284 Main Street.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

 

A Notice of Public Hearing by the City of Tonawanda Board of Appeals, to be held on November 29, 2010, at 6:30 P.M. in the Community Room at City Hall for a variance request to erect a new 6’ stockade fence in the side yard of 595 Broad Street along Hinds Street.

Referred to the Committee of the Whole

            Ordered filed

COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC ON RESOLUTIONS

 

Robert Derner, 286 Niagara Shore Drive – Last week, I asked the Council and the Mayor where the $96,000…

 

Councilmember Boyle - …excuse me Mr. President, this isn’t on the…

 

Council President Zeisz – Is this on one of the resolutions?

 

Robert Derner – Oh, I’m sorry.  

 

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

 

285.     By Councilmember Boyle                                       seconded by Councilmember Slisz

            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

           

286.     By Councilmember Gilbert                                      seconded by Councilmember Poole

            Resolved, that Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi is hereby authorized and directed to enter into an Option to Renew Lease Agreement by and between the City of Tonawanda, Lesser and Inner Harbor Yacht Club, Inc., Lessee, a copy of the agreement is on file in the Office of the City Clerk.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

           

287.     By Council President Zeisz                                     seconded by Councilmember Gilbert

                        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 state business matters the meeting shall again be open to the general public.  The reason for the Executive Session is to discuss litigations.

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Robert Derner, 286 Niagara Shore Drive – Last week I asked the Mayor where the City’s share for the pavilion was coming from, the $96,330 and he said it was in the Capital Budget.  So I looked in the Capital Budget and the Capital Budget says there’s a grant for $866,970 and on the revenue side it doesn’t list any place where that money is coming from, but it does have a cost of $1,000,000 for the pavilion.  Well, there’s a difference there of $133,000.  Where is that money coming from? 

 

Council President Zeisz – Anything in the Capital Plan, it would be, it’s only two places.  It’s either bonded monies or it’s out of the General Fund. 

 

Robert Derner - If it’s coming out of a bond, then you’re borrowing all the money to build the pavilion. 

 

Council President Zeisz - No, no the way, and we can always have the City Administrator come up and explain how this works, but when the Capital Plan is put together, all the expenses are spelled out.  Then on the revenue side, we spell out the revenue, but the things is, is that I think what you were looking for was you were looking for $96,000 is the City’s share and that’s not the way it shows up on the capital plan. 

 

Robert Derner – Well all the other items in here are revenues, it shows Spaulding Fibre infrastructure construction, the amount, $1,040,000.  It’s got the Kayak Launch is $8,000 coming from the Gateway Commission, but there’s nothing that’s specific to the pavilion and I just want to know, is this coming from bonds?

 

Council President Zeisz – To the best of my knowledge, yes. 

 

Robert Derner – What you’re saying then, is you’re borrowing all the money for the pavilion.

 

Council President Zeisz – No, no… 

 

Robert Derner - …the City’s share  you’re borrowing…

 

Council President Zeisz -…short term and it will be mixed in with other short term items, and the Mayor just pointed out, there’s also in-kind services for the pavilion, City’s service, that come out of our share of that cost. 

 

Robert Derner – There’s $133,000 difference between the Greenway Commission’s giving and what the pavilion is suppose to cost, or what the Greenway Commission gives and what is asked for in the Capital Budget.  Where is all this $133,000, is it just a slush fund?  It’s just hard to understand. 

 

Councilmember Slisz – If you look at the bonding on that same five year plan, it’s coming out of there, let’s face it.  That’s where it’s coming from, it’s not coming from…

 

Robert Derner – If you’re borrowing it, it has to be paid back, right?  So in other words, the pavilion is, the money to build it is being borrowed, it’s gotta be paid back, and then according to this you have $36,800 left over and that’s close to $40,000 is what it cost to run the pavilion, every year, year after year, so it looks like these figures show, you’re borrowing all the money for the pavilion and also the first year’s operating expenses and then gonna put into the yearly budget $40,000 to run it after the first year. 

 

Council President Zeisz – Well, first of all, we’re not borrowing all the money for the pavilion.  It’s only including the City’s share, that’s it and generally what the City Treasurer does, whenever he puts things together, he always puts a cushion in, that’s why it’s an even $1,000,000.  That’s why there’s some extra money in there but at this point I don’t know what it’s gonna be.  That 96 could be 90, it could be 85, I don’t know what that number’s gonna be when all is said and done. 

 

Robert Derner - Don’t you have a bid on this thing and what it’s gonna cost?

 

Council President Zeisz - Yes, but until we have the final plans, we’re projected to have those by February 1st, then we’ll be able to get firmer numbers on whether or not it’s gonna be a little less or more, but right now, we just have the preliminary numbers that were given to us.      

 

Robert Derner – Okay.  Did you ever want to consider, this pavilion is for weddings and things like that, did you ever consider using it for, in addition to that, possibly incorporating a fitness club into it, or something so that it could be used on a daily basis and bring in more revenue?  I mean something like that would even work for Highland School, a fitness club, maybe rent it out to a dance studio, some offices instead of just leaving the things deteriorate or in this case the pavilion, just to use once every week or two for a wedding and not having much use after that.  It’s something to consider. 

 

Mike Mercio, 186 William Street – I just have a question here.  I’m reading this thing here and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority expressing support for Tonawanda Rails and Trails.  Is this something that’s gonna take up one of these old railroads? 

Council President Zeisz – That’s exactly what it is. 

 

Mike Mercio – And which on is it?

 

Council President Zeisz – The one that runs along State. 

 

Mike Mercio - Behind Young Street and State.  Okay, and the Transit Authority is gonna supply the whole cost of building this thing? 

 

Council President Zeisz – This project is approximately…

 

Mayor Pilozzi – …this is an old project. Not as old as Carl Zeisz, but pretty old. 

 

Mike Mercio - Oh, I remember when they wanted to bring the trolley cars in here. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi – Basically, this has been an on and off again, on again, off again project.  Approximately, 3 or 4 weeks ago, we got called that, no actually it was a couple months ago our first meeting, come to think of it, that was with NYSDOT, Erie County, Town of Tonawanda, City of Tonawanda and there’s been, I think it’s $2,300,000 set aside for this project many, many years ago.  When we sat down, the biggest issue was that the Niagara Frontier Transit Authority owns the right-of-way, they own that track run and the problem they had is, what if we ever want to put the rapid transit system in there?  Well, I think they’ve accepted the fact that they’re not going to do that and now we’re sitting down and we’re pretty close I think to coming up with a solution in terms of long term usage for it and that long term usage is a rail to trail.  Obviously, the name denotes the fact that the track is gone and they’re gonna put a trail in there and the trail will be coming from somewhere, I can’t remember the other terminus, somewhere in North Buffalo, close to Kenmore Avenue and then right through the Town of Tonawanda to the City of Tonawanda, and what you’re gonna see is another trail that, for all intents and purposes, hopefully brings people into our downtown business district because the terminus in our City is gonna be somewhere along the Canal.  My hope is that we work through all those issues so that we bring it to fruition rather than off again. 

 

Mike Mercio - I was just curious because I didn’t know if they expected each community to put money into it or if the NFTA was just footing the whole bill itself or if the City has to maintain it once it’s built, does the City have to maintain it’s section of it or does the Police Department have to patrol all of it, is this all added cost that’s gonna come down on the City once it’s built. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi – Those are all good questions that we are in the stage where we’re talking about it. 

 

Councilmember Slisz - On that situation, the people from the County were in to see us about two months ago, they had the proposal, we had no interest in it, I know that’s gonna  (inaudible) Mr. Caruana and the NFTA to discuss it.  Also I think that if in fact, something like that happens, there’s gonna be a cost.  There’s nothing without cost.  The NFTA is trying to save the $2,900,000 and trying to salvage this and try to work with us.  However, there are some problems in Kenmore where they can’t get permission to go and that’s stopping the whole thing at this point.  But there will be a cost, no doubt. 

 

Mike Mercio – You discussed it in your chambers about sidewalks.  All I ask is, and I discussed this in great depth with Mr. Boyle, my 2nd Ward Councilman, it’s an issue that I think the City has really got problem with and I think if you brought in a hundred different people, you’d have a hundred different complaints with what’s going on.  I personally don’t want to see a Common Council meeting bogged down with people coming in, and if you could possibly have some type of an open forum because I have, and Mr. Boyle knows, at least a dozen issues that I wouldn’t want to go the way you’re going but I understand you also have to go that way.  So, I’m just saying an open forum would be a nice thing so you don’t sit down and bog down the Common Council meeting, that’s all. 

 

Council President Zeisz – I was planning on that.  I just wanted to at least have the Council to kind of get on the same page before we did something like that but I was planning on that. 

 

Sharon Stuart, 778 Fletcher Street – I’d like to speak to you this evening because since October 25th, several attempts have been made by the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Whitney Vantine, myself and Mayor Ron Pilozzi, have made several attempts to accommodate your schedule Mr. Zeisz, so I figured I’d come here tonight just so we could get it out in the open and figure out exactly what’s going on. There are some unsettling rumors that are circulating in our community, conversations that we feel are destructive and have neither validity nor purpose, other than to derail the progress of the district’s soon to be proposed Capital Improvement Project for the Clinton Small Stadium.  The source I’ve been told is the City, so I’m here tonight to find out exactly what’s going on.  The Board of Education is gone on record that it is taking appropriate steps needed to move forward with a recommendation from the Clint Small Task Force, comprised of both community members and district staff for the Capital Improvement Project to relocate Clint Small Stadium to the High School complex on Hinds Street.  I would also like you to know that when each task force was assembled by the district, invitations to join were also extended to Councilmembers.  Although some of you weren’t Councilmembers at the time when the task force was established.  During one of the meetings with the Clint Small Task Force, the City representatives which included Mayor Pilozzi, Council President Zeisz, then Councilman Jim Kossow and Colleen Perkins, to address the possibly of a land swap, land lease or quite simply a gift of four acres of land at the Little League Drive site which borders district property.  They were told no.  The Board of Education held a public session Tuesday, October 12th and at that session, four architectural firms presented their proposed plans for this project.  Each firm in their proposal noted the unavoidable need to develop the existing Clint Small site into additional softball and soccer fields due to lack of sufficient acreage behind (inaudible).    On Thursday, October 14th, representatives from both the City and the School District met at district offices at 100 Hinds Street for a SYMSE meeting.  The Superintendent and I called this meeting to keep the City up to speed on the district’s forward motion of the Clint Small project.  Upon completion of the meeting, I was approached by a community representative to the SYMSE committee and asked why I had not addressed the possibility of an acquisition of additional land at the Little League Drive site during the course of the meeting.  We both looked to you Mr. Zeisz and you told us it was a dead issue.  Ironically, now after the district has put all their cards on the table, supposedly City government has decided that they have some type of ownership to the strips of land within the confines of the Clint Small site and will move forward to repossess those strips of land. 

 

Council President Zeisz - Is this the rumor that you’re talking about?

 

Sharon Stuart – Yes, that is the rumor that I’m speaking of.  It would appear that this Council or political parties view the Clint Small Stadium project as a threat to the proposed housing development at the Veteran’s Park Little League Drive site.  It would appear that there are attempts to back the district into a corner and it is apparent that some of you who were elected to represent the citizens of this City are more concerned with future residents than the reality of the current City of Tonawanda resident which include our most valuable asset, our children. 

 

Council President Zeisz – The only thing I can say is that I can’t respond to it because I have no idea, I haven’t heard it, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

 

Sharon Stuart – That’s why we’ve tried to have the meetings with you for the past four weeks…

 

Council President Zeisz - …well,

 

Sharon Stuart - …because we wanted to…

 

Council President Zeisz - …no, I was gonna come to the last one but it was cancelled. 

 

Sharon Stuart – The only meeting that was relocated to a different site was the (inaudible) and Brown meetingThey were lawyers who were addressing the Tonawanda Coke issue.  There was no meeting scheduled.  So when the architects came in and gave us their proposal, there is a need for us to further renovate Clint Small Stadium into softball fields, but as we met a second time on October 22nd, going over the contract terms with the architectural firms that were there, it was brought to our attention that someone in the City but no names would be given, is out spreading the rumor that the City owns portions of Clint Small Stadium and will repossess those strips should the district go forward with moving Clint Small Stadium. 

 

Council President Zeisz – All I’m gonna tell you is that I don’t know where it’s coming from because we’ve never talked about it, at least it’s never been talked about in a Council meeting of any kind…

 

Sharon Stuart - …well I know it hasn’t been in public session because we would have heard about it. 

 

Council President Zeisz – No, so I don’t know where you’re getting it from. 

 

Sharon Stuart – It was brought to the Superintendent and I that that is the conversation that’s going on and we tried to schedule a meeting, we wanted to talk to you about it, so I really had to come here.

 

Council President Zeisz – And that’s fine, I don’t have a problem with it because I don’t even know what you’re talking about. 

 

Sharon Stuart – I would encourage you, when we hold these open meetings, public meetings where we’re showcasing the four architects that have come in for this project, to come and take a look at it because it’s really something wonderful for the community, not just for the students, but for the community as a whole. 

 

Council President Zeisz – But the whole Council knew about the last meeting we had together where you told us about some of your plans and I let everybody know about the plans, they knew about Clint Small and moving the stadium and stuff like that, but I can’t help you with the other thing. 

 

Sharon Stuart – Well, if you could look into that, it would be great. 

 

Council President Zeisz – As soon as I figure out who to look to, to find out who’s doing it. 

 

Councilmember Slisz – Call on the Superintendent of Schools, he knows who talked to. 

 

Sharon Stuart – In two minutes of a meeting on October 22nd where it was brought to light. 

 

Councilmember Slisz - Who is the person who said it? 

 

Betsy Olka  - Read the minutes. 

 

Councilmember Boyle - You got your minutes? 

 

Betsy Olka – I don’t.  They’re on line. 

 

Sharon Stuart - They wouldn’t divulge their source, but what I’m telling you is, ...

 

Councilmember Slisz -…well, the Superintendent then is spreading the same rumor…

 

Sharon Stuart - …it’s not the Superintendent Mr. Slisz, spreading rumors and we have been very upfront since October 26th, trying to set up a meeting so my purpose tonight to bring this to your attention, rumor, fallacy, whatever you want to call it, it’s something that’s very concerning to the school board members because if we move forward with the project with the innuendo in there that portions of Clint Small Stadium are going to be repossessed, then what do we do with our children?  You can shake your head and smile,  that’s very disrespectful.   

 

Councilmember Slisz – Seriously, believe me, the fact is, I never heard the rumor and if the school board had any sense, they wouldn’t put it into the minutes if there’s a rumor without naming the person who said it, putting it into your minutes, it spreads the rumor further. 

 

Sharon Stuart - Well, when you take minutes, you write down everything that’s said, so when something is spoken, it goes into the minutes so there’s accountability. 

 

Joyce Hogenkamp, 241 Rogers Avenue – I’m here on behalf of Citizens United for Justice.  Over the past three or four weeks, there have been numerous problems up along the landfill.  Four weeks ago I was in a car accident, people were trying to get hold of me when I got home from the hospital after being there my answering machine was full with meassages.  There are people that are being hospitalized, there’s kids that are really sick, they’re coming down with unusual strep and bacterial infections and they’re wondering why.  When you go back and look at where the landfill is, they told us that that hill was gonna be 25’ to 30’.  If you look at it now, I swear it’s gotta be 100’.  When you look at it you can see tires from people’s backyards, you can actually see tires in the landfill and within the past two weeks, residents are starting to see kitchen garbage, white garbage bags, they’re seeing just absolutely gross, steaming garbage that’s being dumped.  The smell that’s coming off that landfill now smells like rotten eggs, it’s a sulfur smell.  It’s seeping off the landfill and into people’s basements that live along Hackett and on certain days, depending on how that wind is blowing, it permeates the whole part of the Riverview Heights area, right around Riverview School, all the way down to where I live and I didn’t know if anybody on the Council was aware that this stuff is going on.  I know the firefighters went up and down Hackett trying to ensure people’s safety.  They were knocking, went door to door.  I know the DPW expressed concern because of the height of that, we now call it “the mountain”, and the water that’s running off, there is no place for that place for that water to go except to everybody’s backyards, all the way down to the people that live on Fletcher.  If you look at our streets now, the amount of water that’s flowing down is atrocious.  At one time it was just on the side, now the water is coming and covering the roads.  I can’t imagine what that hill’s gonna look like and I feel sorry for the people that live down toward Fletcher where all this water is flowing.  When the Town and Ensol did that tap, they never put a catch at bottom to catch the runoff from it and its hurting people’s homes.  It’s starting to really cause problems. There are certain people that have two sump pumps and it can’t keep up with the water.  Up until today, we’ve had dry weather.  Those sump pumps were running four or five times a day.  Why?  Because of the pressure that’s put on back there and the five natural springs that are there.  We have put so much pressure on the Town through the years, they don’t want to hear from us anymore.  But now we have a health situation and a safety situation and I need to know if I can count on you guys for help to back up our group, the CURE for Citizens United to go after the Town to be responsible to the residents that live up there.  They pay pretty high taxes, and they deserve representation. Can you help us? 

 

Councilmember Gilbert – Mr. President,  we talked about that a couple weeks ago I asked about if Jason know anything about what was going on? 

 

Council President Zeisz – Right, and the Mayor also sent a communication to the Town.

 

Mayor Pilozzi – Mrs. Hogenkamp, I received your message through my secretary at 10:30 on the 15th, that was yesterday, and I wrote an email to Supervisor Caruana, I’ll read it verbatim, it’s not that long.  “Tony, I need your help on several landfill issues. I received a complaint from a resident, Joyce Hogenkamp”, I gave him both of your phone numbers, “regarding odor in backyards and basements and dumping, residents are seeing white plastic bags with garbage.  It was my understanding that the landfill was closed for any more incoming garbage.  Is this garbage that is being relocated from the National Grid right-of-way?  She also feels that the relocated garbage is encroaching on the Army Corps of Engineers sites.  In addition she also mentions that Ensol worked on Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 to 4:00 PM.  Is this normal?  Please have someone from your staff or yourself give her a call and advise me on these issues also”.  He finally got back, and this reply came in today, “This morning I spoke to a resident at 77 Hackett,” that’s obviously not you, I don’t know who that is, “the concerns were the same as noted below from Joyce Hogenkamp.  The tires, plastic bags, etc. are coming from the work being done at the Niagara Mohawk power line.  Once that work is done, and it should be at the end of the year, that existing trash will be returned to the landfill in another area.  They have been authorized by the NYS Labor Department to work Saturdays and Sundays, weather permitting, so they can finish up the project before the end of the year.  I have contacted John Battaglia of Ensol to call on Joyce’s concerns”.  That came from Mike Kaiser who is the Technical Director from the Town of Tonawanda.  Did he call you?

 

Joyce Hogenkamp – Nobody has called me.  Do they realize how bad it smells up there?  We’re less than two weeks to Thanksgiving.  Who wants that Thanksgiving dinner and have the smell of rotten eggs permeating your house? 

 

Mayor Pilozzi - Can’t blame you and if we can’t get NYSDEC to jump in on this, look how long it took them to get involved with Tonawanda Coke.

 

Joyce Hogenkamp – I called Senator Schumer’s Office this morning and he is suppose to be in town relatively soon and I’m hoping I can get his attention, especially with them encroaching on the Army Corps of Engineers and the nuclear site.  They’re not even supposed to be near it.  So maybe somebody can start really screaming at the Town other than the residents.  We need our elected officials to stand up united and say enough.      

 

Council President Zeisz – Well, if nothing else, we’ll invite Ensol, the Town, whoever, we’ll invite them into a meeting. 

 

Joyce Hogenkamp – We’d really appreciate it. 

 

Council President Zeisz – I’ll shoot for the 30th, two weeks from today. 

 

Joyce Hogenkamp – Okay, thank you.

 

Betsy Olka, 65 Cleveland Avenue – So in there I heard you guys referring to the request for proposals for the gazebo.   I don’t know what went on but I know it was an accident. Our guys were doing the work.  So we’re attempting to do a request for proposal because we don’t want that to happen again?  I do have another question, but there’s a follow up to that.  The follow up would be then, accidents happen in construction all the time regardless of who’s doing it so if were to incur something similar, something worse, who then is liable?  Do they carry their own insurance?

 

Council President Zeisz – If we had an outside contractor?  No, they’d have their own insurance.  They’d be responsible for the work site. 

 

Betsy Olka – Well that’s the intent.  Next question, how are those guys?

 

Mayor Pilozzi – I talk to both of them on a weekly basis.  Jim Daugherty is well they’re both home, they’re not back to work yet and I think Jim’s going to be okay except for a arm problem and I’m trying to think about Dave Zorn, but the good news about Dave is there’s no surgery required at this point in time, so it’s just a matter of healing, from what I understand. 

 

COMMENTS FROM THE COUNCILMEMBERS AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Councilmember Poole – First off, several of my constituents asked me to address Chief Ivancic to congratulate you and your force on what a wonderful job was done during Halloween, with the patrol cars moving through the City, extremely visible, moving slowly through all parts of the City with their lights on and keeping the children safe.  So I’m relaying that on to you.  Finally, I respectfully submit that in all workshops and public meetings that I show respect for all speakers, even those I disagree with.  Therefore, I would ask my fellow Councilmembers to display the same level of decorum towards their peers and I would ask the Council President to enforce that, if necessary. 

 

Councilmember Slisz – I have a couple items on the agenda.  First of all, I think that Bob Derner was correct when he was questioning the cost of the pavilion.  Right now, it was voted on as a maximum of $915,000 and some cents, and yes, it is coming out of the capital bond that we floated.  The balance in that line 15, you also have $86,000 of City dollars, that’s a given.  As far as in-kind, we’re already contributing in-kind when you give them that much land, they’ll have to pay for parking, they’ll have to construct the parking.  We’ll have to give up land for more parking, so there’s additional costs but there’s no doubt that the  $86,000, at least, Bob says it’s $96,000 but I know it’s $86,000, be added to that cost of $950,000.  So the fact that we put a $1,000,000 into the budget for that item, it’s a fact that we are going to fund it for at least $86,000 and any cost overruns.  The people that voted for the proposal of $915,000, hopefully they voted for that to be the max.  If it runs over $915,000 it may not be the max.  The fact is that the SEQR is being (inaudible) up to May 1st.  They have time to investigate, so the SEQR comes in, it may even be more costly.  If we’re not gonna start construction by May 1st and have 25% of the project completed, and find out that the SEQR says you must do additional, add additional dollars to the project, so we may have cost overruns.  So for those who voted for the project, I hope you understand that there’s a maximum of $915,000 to build this pavilion.  Another matter, today Bill Poole and I had the opportunity to go to the Greenway Commission, where the money came from. I have to admit, we went through the Executive Board and we stayed for the Board of Directors meeting and I have to admit that the chairman, Mr. Kresse, does an outstanding job in decorum.   There were five projects that came before the board, each person who spoke made their comments on trying to get the board, the Greenway Commission Executive Board, to approve of those projects, by approve they call it consistency and once it’s approved there it goes to the Standing Committee.  I was sort of disturbed that the chairman was the chairman for a long time who happens to be an attorney and also involved with the Holmstead deal, voted against two of the projects but was over-ridden by the other board members.  The board consists of about five local people and eight people who are working for the State in various capacities, so that was amazing to me, but I have to say that it was a learning curve.  On the third item, we now have the water works construction pretty well underway.  The only thing I’m asking of the Mayor, to have the consultants who are observing the  policy and rebuilding and excavating of the waterworks, to give us a report.  One of the things I’m concerned about is that we know there is some contamination, we have to seal it with some plastic textiles, that’s the last thing to be done, so whoever buys that property should know what’s down there.  And the second one that disturbed me this morning and (inaudible), when they came forward between the garage, the other side of the garage here, where we did demolish the buildings, the first building is ground level, the second building they only took down six foot of the foundation, on two sides, and I guess they’re going to take down the third and fourth side, but all that dropped into the two floors below which are vacant, empty and then they’re putting dirt into those to cover all (inaudible), I thought everything was suppose to come out but it’s not, so again, for the record, our plans should show that there’s something (inaudible) and also some steel down two floors deep in the property up front.  I think the Mayor should make sure the consultant do a report on that so we know what’s there. 

 

Councilmember Gilbert – I’d like to thank the Police Chief for taking the girls on a tour and making them feel welcome and again, Halloween, I saw Officer Kenney and the auxiliaries were in my neighborhood.  It was nice to see.  I’d like to offer my sentiments to the Fire Department for the work they had to do with the Underwater Squad for the tragic incident that just happened.  It’s hard being in that situation and I commend them for their service.  I’d also like to take the chance to thank Coleen Overholt for helping me with those t-shirts that were given to the girls.  She worked real hard on it and I really appreciate her work.  And then I’d like to thank the Mayor for the Proclamation, and Council President for all his help on letting this happen, and I’d like to thank the members of the School Board for being here tonight. 

 

Councilmember Boyle – Mrs. Stuart, I’m going to reiterate what Council President said, I haven’t heard anything about anything like that and unless we know who it’s coming from, we’ll look at the minutes, we’ll see where it comes from, but I mean, it has not been talked about, any kind of swap, we’re gonna take this back, something like that.  If another Councilmember said it, I don’t know about it, but that’s all I can say about that.  

 

Mayor Pilozzi – First of all, one more time, congratulations to the cheerleaders.  It’s nice to see young people in here having a good time and it kind of put Tonawanda on the map in terms of their championship performance, so that’s great to see.  I’m not sure if a lot of people picked it up in the newspaper this past weekend but once again we got lucky and I gotta give some kudos to our City Engineer and Sam and myself, when we sat down, and Council President Zeisz I believe was totally aware of what we were doing here with the award of $1,855,000  for the sewer project along Two Mile Creek.  That’s gonna help us deal with some of the overflows.  One of the things I’ve tried to do with this pavilion is get the DEC involved and it’s unfortunately a different arm of the DEC, but I’ve had them in my office on several occasions to take a look at how we could use this pavilion as an instructional, educational site for kids.  So if you come to my office, you’ll see that we have some samples of what we could be doing in the pavilion and hopefully get kids engaged, like the group we saw here tonight, in there during the day and classes come through there during the day and take a look at  what wildlife and fish inhabit that area.  I think it’s important that we pass the baton on to the younger people when it comes to the environment, so hopefully, this sewer project will help in that regard.  Thank you.

 

Council President Zeisz- The only comment I wanted to make was just to Ms. Stuart that, you know as far as bringing that to the meeting, actually that’s better because I don’t have anything to hide and if something was said, I’d rather somebody came and said it to whoever said it or what have you.  As far as making a meeting though, the only thing I can tell you is I was asked for three days that I could meet, I gave three days and it didn’t work out.  I know it’s tough, but I do have a job.  But it’s actually better this way because the last thing I want is anybody to think that you’re hiding something or we’re hiding something, because we’re not.  Other than that, I thank the Fire and Police once again, you know they had to find a reason to jump in the water this time of year, so I thank them, though it’s certainly a thankless job to have to do something like that, especially during a tragedy.  And also the cheerleaders, it’s certainly great at a Council meeting because we don’t have a lot of excitement like that and we certainly don’t have many young people at Council meetings, so it was great to see.  Have a great night, drive home safely and we’ll see you in a few weeks.  And have a nice Thanksgiving. 

      

ADJOURNMENT

 

288.     By Councilmember Slisz                                         seconded by Councilmember Gilbert

            Resolved, that this Common Council adjourn until, December 7, 2010.  

 

Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

 

 

Return to CITY OF TONAWANDA web page