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Audio: North Tonawanda Mayor Robert Ortt's State of the City

NORTH TONAWANDA -- Mayor Robert G. Ortt issued his annual State of the City address this afternoon at The Fairways at Deerwood restaurant on Sweeney Street.

Listen to Ortt's full speech:

Here's a review of some of the high points from the address:

1:33 p.m.: Among the dignitaries attending today's speech: Lockport Mayor Michael Tucker; North Tonawanda Schools Superintendent Gregory J. Woytila; Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour; Kaleida Health Vice President Anthony Zito; Niagara USA Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Deanna Alterio Brennan;  Tonawandas Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joyce Santiago; former Niagara County Republican Chairman Henry Wojtaszek; as well as various city department heads and other city employees.

1:26 p.m.: Ortt just wrapped up an approximately 25-minute address.

Check back soon to listen to full audio of the address.

1:24 p.m.: Under current projections, the city will have to eliminate 20 positions under next year's budget, Ortt said.

1:19 p.m.: The city will face at least a $2 million budget deficit next year, Ortt said.

The mayor said he will ask each department head to reduce their departmental budgets by 5 percent next year.

1:14 p.m.: Ortt says he hopes there will be a groundbreaking this year on the planned Walmart supercenter at Niagara Falls Boulevard and Erie Avenue.

1:11 p.m.: The Tonawandas Gateway Harbor Committee will not hold Friday night concerts this year in Gateway Park, instead putting on four Saturday night concerts, in addition to Wednesday night shows, Ortt said.

City officials should begin seeking a promoter for Saturday night concerts for 2012, he said.

1:05 p.m.: A study on the site of the former Niagara River Yacht Club will be presented to the Common Council on March 8, Ortt tells the crowd.

1:01 p.m.: "The City of North Tonawanda is at a crossroads," Ortt says beginning the main portion of his speech, after his greetings to the crowd of about 55 people on hand.

--Aaron Besecker

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government | North Tonawanda | politics
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