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NT City Hall notebook

Some odds and ends from Tuesday night's North Tonawanda Common Council meeting:

--During a discussion about the former St. Joseph Catholic Church property on Payne Avenue, Second Ward Alderman Richard L. Andres Jr. raised the possibility of the city rezoning the parcel before a new owner takes control of the property. That way, it would be easier for the city to change the use of the property, said Andres, a former member of the city's master plan committee.

St joseph campus NT

(Photo by Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Here's a story by Tom Prohaska published Sunday about a Wheatfield church looking at the property.

In October, city lawmakers rejected a proposal to turn the campus into housing for homeless youth and veterans.

--The city is working to set a public auction for the former Mirror Room, Mayor Robert G. Ortt said. The process "kind of stalled" on the city's part at the end of last year, Ortt said. The auction will be handled by Auctions International, a Cheektowaga firm, and an auction date has not been set.

--Ortt said efforts by the city and other area municipalities to reach a settlement with the New York Power Authority are "ongoing." Read this story for more background on the issue.

The city is "still in the same position" as it was before, according to Ortt. A meeting of various local elected leaders -- including Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster, Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte, Wheatfield Supervisor Robert B. Cliffe, Lockport Mayor Michael W. Tucker -- was held in the Wheatfield Community Center on his first regular day on the job to discuss the issue and was organized by State Sen. George D. Maziarz, Ortt said.

Ortt characterized the mindset of leaders at the meeting as being "more interested in a long-term solution."

This year's city budget includes $250,000 expected from a settlement. "It puts us in a tough negotiating position with NYPA because they know we need the money," Ortt said Tuesday.

--Three lawmakers said they support a proposal to spend about $1,500 to put a plaque on the World War II memorial in front of City Hall on Payne Avenue. The plaque would thank officials who helped get the monument built.

During an informal discussion, Council President Catherine G. Schwandt, Alderwoman-at-large Nancy A. Donovan and First Ward Alderman Dennis M. Pasiak said they favored supporting the project with funding. Third Ward Alderman Eric Zadzilka said he doesn't see why the city can't support it, while Second Ward Alderman Richard L. Andres Jr. said the proposal may have to wait until the next budget cycle, and that the Council should consult with City Accountant David R. Jakubaszek about what funds might be available.

--Aaron Besecker


government | New York Power Authority | North Tonawanda | politics | redevelopment
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