By Autumn Evans
North Tonawanda's Common Council meeting Tuesday began with the recognition of several citizens who have made contributions to the city over the years.
The first to be recognized was Douglas Taylor, president of Taylor Devices Inc., a business founded in North Tonawanda in 1955. The company worked with NASA in the 1960s to develop technologies now used in the International Space Station, space vehicles and satellites. Taylor will be inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame April 15 in Colorado Springs, Colorado for seismic damper technology developed by Taylor Devices.
Taylor was given a seal of the city by Mayor Arthur Pappas and a commemorative emblem by City Clerk Dan Quinn.
"On behalf of all of our employees, I want to thank the city and you, Mayor Pappas, for honoring us with this proclamation," Taylor said.
"This is exciting for our community, to know that an industry like Taylor Devices has been here for so many years and remains in North Tonawanda, we have to thank you, too - and we're excited for you," Pappas responded.
Alderman Robert Pecoraro said, "Growing up here in Western New York, I remember the days when I could drive by Bell Aerospace and the parking lot was full and a lot of aviation and space technology was being developed here in Western New York. And for us to recognize somebody who remained here in Western New York in our city of North Tonawanda, Mr. Doug Taylor, really goes a long way to show that we are meaningful and that we are on the leading edge."
The second proclamation was handed to Priscilla Dolling from the Corporation of National Community Service for her volunteer work in the city. In conjunction with a nationwide effort, Pappas officially named April 7 National Service Recognition Day in North Tonawanda.
Fire Chief John Lapham was also recognized by Worldwide Branding for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in fire safety. Lapham is a third-generation firefighter who has worked for North Tonawanda for 23 years.
In other Common Council news:
•The council awarded a contract to NFP & Sons to build three kayak launches along the Erie Canal - one at the Botanical Gardens, one at the fishing pier on Niagara Street and the last at the western end of Gateway Harbor. City Engineer Dale Marshall said he hoped to see the launches operational by June.
•The council approved a number of summer events, including a Memorial Day parade May 24, the Carrousel Museum's Renaissance Fair for June 6, St. Jude's annual carnival June 19-20 and Our Lady of Czestochowa's Feast Day Celebration Aug. 23. The T-NT Gateway Market and Gratwick Riverside Park Concert Series were also approved.
•Resident Sandy McFarland brought up a concern regarding the Gratwick Riverside concert series. She questioned whether a concert night during Canal Fest might draw customers away from the latter event. The council announced the matter had already been addressed and the July 24 concert was rescheduled to Aug. 7.