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Grand Island Town Board tables sidewalk requirement

•Taken from the May 8 Island Dispatch

Thu, May 14th 2015 06:30 pm

By Larry Austin

Island Dispatch Editor

The town will work with owners of a Grand Island Boulevard restaurant regarding a dispute over installation of a sidewalk.

Town Councilman Gary Roesch said he will meet with the owners of the Town Café at 2352 Grand Island Blvd. to discuss a requirement to put in the sidewalk at the restaurant. Monday at its monthly meeting, the Town Board voted 4-0 to table a motion to ratify the action it took June 24, 1994, requiring the property owner put in a sidewalk connecting to other existing sidewalk.

Roesch said, "The only reason I want to table it is to make sure that the owners are aware of the original site plan that was generated in 1994, and they are responsible to put the sidewalk in, and if in fact there's any financial issues, we can work with them on it."

Roesch explained that the site plan for the business "was approved in 1994 by the Holiday Showcase, who actually built that building, and at the time it was built, the owner said that they would put the sidewalks in as indicated on the site plan when the other two facilities on either side were built and they put sidewalks in. So they have since been done."

The sidewalk requirement kicked in after the property to the north of Town Cafe was developed into a Tim Hortons.

The town is in a position to ratify its original vote at a future meeting.

Attorney Ralph C. Lorigo, representing Lynn Quarantello and her parents, property owners Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Alessi, in a letter dated April 13 to Douglas Learman, Grand Island code enforcement officer, said, "The installation of sidewalks along my clients' property would cause a substantial hardship to the restaurant at the present time. If, in fact, the town believed that sidewalks needed to be installed, I would request that they be put in at town expense (or hopefully through some grant) and them amortized in some tax base over a period of useful life on my clients' tax roll."

The town maintains the property owner is on the hook for the sidewalk.

"On their site plan when they took over the building, they were required to do it," Aronica said. "Some of the businesses nearby were asking for a link so that they could make that connection and walk the rest of the way so they could get to Tim Hortons."

"And our next step after this is to talk to Fantasy Island and have that sidewalk connected. It would eventually go from Fantasy Island all the way to the center of Grand Island," Roesch added.

Both Aronica and Roesch are members of the Conservative Party, but Lorigo's status as chairman of the Erie County Conservative Party would have no impact on their handling of the matter, both councilmen said.

"That won't impact at all because if we don't have them do it, then what about the next guy that's supposed to do it?" Aronica said.

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