Council Chambers

Tonawanda, New York

October 21, 2008

 

A Regular Meeting of the Common Council

 

Present:  Council President Zeisz

Present Councilmembers:  Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

 

Pledge of Allegiance led by Council President Zeisz

 

Prayer led by Council President Zeisz

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE MAYOR

 

The quarterly report from the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning dated October 15, 2008.

 

A letter from the comptroller of Erie County dated October 15, 2008, regarding Erie County Sales and Mortgage tax collections.

 

Press Release from the Mayor announcing “Trick or Treat” will take place on Halloween, Friday, October 31st from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. in the City of Tonawanda.

            Ordered filed

 

COMMUNICATION FROM CITY OFFICIALS AND CORRESPONDENCE

 

The following monthly reports were received by the City Clerk:

            July minutes of the Planning & Zoning Board

            August minutes of the Planning & Zoning Board

            September minutes of the Planning & Zoning Board

            October minutes of the Civil Service Commission

                        Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                            Ordered filed

           

COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC ON RESOLUTIONS

 

Nancy Paschen, 5 Main Street – On resolution #6, are you hiring a new City Account Clerk? 

 

Council President Zeisz – No we’re not. 

 

Nancy Paschen - On resolution #7, by Jason LaMonaco, does that mean that we gotta add another $1,749 to the general budget to make up for what he’s gonna spend?  You got $29,150 and he’s gonna give away that $27,401 covered by the grant, we gotta add $1,749.  Now, do you gotta take that $1,749 from some place else and put it into the general fund? 

 

Council President Zeisz – He’s gonna take from one of the lines in his budget so, it’s not like we’re adding money to the budget.  We’re just gonna take it from one of the lines, and if you want a more specific answer where, Joe can tell you, but we’re not adding to the budget. 

 

MOTIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

 

214.     By Councilmember Perkins                         seconded by Councilmember Waterhouse

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

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

215.     By Councilmember Davis                            seconded by Councilmember Kossow

            Whereas, Local Law No. 4 for the year 2008 for the City of Tonawanda, entitled:

 

                                A Local Law providing for the “Cold War Veterans’ Exemption”

                                pursuant to Section 458-b of the New York State Real Property Tax Law

                                regarding general municipal real property taxes for veterans who

                                served during the cold war period.

 

was unanimously introduced by the Common Council on October 7, 2008, and laid upon each Councilmember’s desk for seven days, excluding Sunday; and

            Whereas, proposed Local Law No. 4 for the year 2008 has been reviewed and deliberated upon by the Common Council; now, therefore be it

            Resolved, that the Common Council hereby approves and enacts Local Law No. 4 for the year 2008, attached hereto and made a part hereof.

 

Council President Zeisz – For the benefit of the students that are here tonight, this includes any periods after the World War II when there were no wars going on.  So in other words, from 1976-1991 after Viet Nam before the Persian Gulf War and after   World War II up until the Korean Conflict, any of those periods when there was no fighting and there’s only two other times after Viet Nam before the Persian Gulf where there was a small group of soldiers that would have been involved and that would have been the Falcon Islands and Grenada. 

 

Ayes: Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Abstained:  Perkins

Resolution declared adopted

 

216.     By Councilmember Davis                            seconded by Councilmember Waterhouse

            Be it Resolved, that City of Tonawanda Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi be authorized and directed to advertise and to hold a Public Hearing, pursuant to legal publication, regarding Local Law No. 4 for the year 2008, entitled:

 

A Local Law providing for the “Cold War Veterans’ Exemption”

                        pursuant to Section 458-b of the New York State Real Property Tax Law

                        regarding general municipal real property taxes for veterans who

                        served during the cold war period.

 

and be it further

            Resolved, that this Public Hearing shall be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, at 7:00 P.M. in the City Hall Common Council Chambers, 200 Niagara Street, Tonawanda, New York.

 

Ayes: Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Abstained:  Perkins

Resolution declared adopted

 

217.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi be authorized and directed to enter into an agreement with the Unified Court System for reimbursement for security costs for the court facilities in Tonawanda City Hall from April 1, 2008 – March 31, 2009, in the amount of $141,938.00.  A copy of said agreement is on file in the Office of the City Clerk.

                                Fiscal Impact:   Costs anticipated                $142,034.00

                                                                State Share                      $142,034.00

                                                                Fiscal Impact                             -0-

               

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

218.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Tonawanda City Code, Section 62-193, Schedule XV entitled: “No Standing”, be amended as follows:

 

                        “No Standing” on the east side of Gibson Street from Dodge Drive

                        to Fletcher Street be rescinded.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

219.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that the position of Account Clerk Typist be added to Group 4 of the Personnel Benefits and Policy Manual and be it further

Resolved, that the Account Clerk Typist position be entitled to all benefits afforded to Group 4   of the manual and be it further

Resolved, that Group 4 of the Personnel Benefits and Policy Manual for City of Tonawanda Employees, Section 2 - Compensation, 2.01 – Salary Administration, Appendix D be updated as follows:

 

                                                                                                                2008

Classification                                          Job Title                  Wages

 

Group 4                                                 Account Clerk Typist                $29,987.00

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

220.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

                        Resolved, at the recommendation of Jason J. LaMonaco, P.E., City Engineer, that award of the contract for GIS Needs Assessment be made to Wendel Duchscherer Architects and Engineers, at a cost not to exceed $29,150.00.

 

                                    Funding/Fiscal Impact:    $27,401.00 from LGRMIF Grant

                                                                                 1,749.00 from General Fund

           

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

221.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Whereas, the County of Erie Department of Environment and Planning is currently accepting applications for funding under the 2009-2010 fiscal year Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program; and

            Whereas, CDBG applications from Community Development Block Grant Consortium communities, including the City of Tonawanda, are due on or before October 27, 2008, and

            Whereas, the City of Tonawanda scheduled, advertised and held a public hearing on October 14, 2008 at 5:00 P.M. in Tonawanda City Hall to provide City residents the opportunity to comment and submit suggestions on projects to be included in CDBG funding requests and applications, and

            Whereas, the City of Tonawanda Mayor’s Office has identified and is finalizing three (3) CDBG funding applications for fiscal year 2009-2010, now, therefore be it

            Resolved, the City of Tonawanda Common Council hereby approves and authorizes the Mayor of the City of Tonawanda to sign, execute and submit all necessary CDBG funding applications documents and contracts with the Erie County Community Development Block Grant Program for the following projects listed in order of City priority:

 

  1. Johnson Street (pavement milling, overlay, sidewalk replacement) – total estimated project cost, $190,000

  2. Moyle Avenue (pavement milling, overlay, sidewalk replacement) – total estimated project cost, $91,000

  3. Gibson Street – Phase I (pavement milling, overlay, sidewalk replacement) – total estimated project cost, $68,000

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

222.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Whereas, 530 Fillmore, LLC, the owners of the property located at 530 Fillmore Avenue, have submitted site plans to the City regarding the construction of buildings to be used as mini-storage; and

            Whereas, the City’s Building Inspector, Kevin Rank, requires a 10 foot easement from the City in order to issue a building permit; and

            Whereas, said easement would allow the construction by 530 Fillmore, LLC of a proposed storm sewer with outlet within the City’s sewer, now therefore, be it

            Resolved, that Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi is hereby authorized and directed to execute a proposed Permanent Easement Agreement between the City of Tonawanda and 530 Fillmore, LLC together with any and all necessary documents in connection therewith.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

223.     By Council President Zeisz                                                 seconded by Councilmember Perkins

                        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 contract negotiations.

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Nancy Paschen, 5 Main Street – In caucus, I don’t know if I should say this or not, you threw out the example of Young Street you would have two way traffic and put City Hall on it.  Now if you ever do have a public hearing, would that be in the paper? 

 

Council President Zeisz – Yes. 

 

Nancy Paschen – And besides the want ads, I mean people don’t see that section. 

 

Council President Zeisz – Well from the City’s standpoint, the City Clerk will put in the notice like we would for any other meeting and how the paper decides to put it in is up to them, but there will be, there’ll actually be more than one public hearing on that issue, but it will be in the paper.  I can’t say how it will be in the paper, but it will be in the paper. 

 

Robert Derner, 286 Niagara Shore Drive – I guess I have to speak quickly here because we’ve only got three minutes here.  First of all, on September 20th the Mayor met with the  Cable Committee about the project with Verizon in the City and I was wondering if he had any input for that. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi – As soon as Verizon is done running their new cable throughout our City, that’s when it’s going to be ready.  They’re thinking somewhere along the lines of late next year or early 2010. 

Robert Derner - The other thing is you said you’re going into contract negotiations after this meeting is over.  I’d like you to take something into consideration.  I contacted seven communities about what their taxes are in surrounding areas.  The Town of Tonawanda, Grand Island, Clarence, Amherst, Orchard Park, Wheatfield, West Seneca.  There are seven of them.  The average of all their taxes for their communities are $3,046.  Tonawanda, this is on a $100,000 house in Tonawanda, is $4,000, 25% more.  So when you’re negotiation with people for contracts, I hope you keep that in mind because we’re paying 25% more than anyone else.  The other thing is the Mayor said in the paper the other day that Brearley did a professional job.  I just want to mention a couple things where I don’t think they are professional.  They have, let’s see, they, just to show you how professional they are, they did a comparison on the assessments of 133 Elmwood Park, the old Zuchmeirer house, one of the finest houses in the City and it was assessed at $219,000, fair enough.  But they also use a comparison at 340 Main Street, that’s the one right next to the viaduct if you come up Roosevelt, it’s right ahead.  In fact, I lived in that house when I was a little kid.  It’s assessed for $85,000.  Now I don’t know if that’s professional but that’s no way to compare houses.  Up on Brookside, there are two houses that are exactly alike, I know, I built them.  I know what they are.  They’re exactly the same house.  One is assessed for $160,000 the other is for $155,000.  That’s not professional.  And then there’s houses over on Wadsworth that are completely misassessed because they’re smaller houses are assessed, some of them are assessed higher than the bigger houses.  On this assessment at Riveredge, just one more thing,  you said that there was a 25% increase for assessments of 10% or more.  Riveredge last year had an assessment of $9,545,000.  This year it went up to $23,876,000.  The increase from paying $521,000 in taxes last year, this year it’s almost a million, $955,000 which is a $433,000 increase, that’s 83% in one year, far more than 10% which you make it sound like that is just 10% or more.  The more is 83%.  

 

COMMENTS FROM THE COUNCILMEMBERS AFTER RESOLUTIONS

 

Councilmember Perkins – I don’t have anything this evening.  Thank you.

 

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

 

Councilmember Kossow – I just want to thank all the students for coming again tonight.  Two weeks from tonight, we’re going to be hopefully on a very historical night with the election, so be sure to get out and vote on election night. 

 

Councilmember Davis – I’d just to like to thank the Council for their support on resolution #5 and I’d also like to thank the kids for showing interest in government, even my daughter over there on the right hand side, even if they do have to be here.

 

Council President Zeisz – I was going to say, if they want to pass. 

 

Mayor Pilozzi – First of all, I’d just like to say if you look at resolution #8 you’ll see streets listed on that.  We’re not sure of the order that we’re going to put in only because Erie County Department of Environment and Planning is an organization we usually consult with to make sure we put the best one forward.  Just to give you an idea of how the system works.  We’re allowed to put three different projects into the Community Development Block Grant funding cycle and they actually come to our City, they being other municipal leaders, I can’t do my own City.  I have to go all the way down to almost Springville in some cases to look at theirs, but regardless, the way it works, they come and they grade ours and they tell us which one is #1 and which one is #2 sometimes, so it could switch.  Moyle could be #1, we’re not sure, but regardless, we’re hoping to get at least one if not two projects this year.  I did get a report today from Erie County, excuse me, yesterday from Erie County Controller talking about sales tax, mortgage tax, the impact of that on the City of Tonawanda is a question mark right now.  I’ll take that into account.  However, on the things that were mentioned in his letter was the budget and our budget’s done, so whatever adjustments we have to make, we’ll do so as the information becomes available and actually, so far, so good, in terms of the City’s finances and my intention is to make sure we keep it there.  Halloween’s coming up, I want to make sure that you listen to the radio over at the High School and also we’ll be doing a Press Release on the times. I think right now it’s going to be 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. on Friday the 31st. Just be very, very careful.  If you’re out driving that evening, keep an eye out for the kids and also Moms and Dads, make sure they don’t eat the candy until you get a good look at it.  That’s about it except for thanking all the students for being here this evening.  Thank you.

 

Council President Zeisz - I thank everyone for coming out this evening.  We will meet on Election night.  We’ll be out of here before election results start coming in so we’ll see you then.  We would have put it off but the next week is a holiday. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

224.     By Councilmember Waterhouse                  seconded by Councilmember Kossow

            Resolved, that this Common Council adjourn until November 4, 2008.  

 

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted

 

 

 

 

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