Mayor highlights growth in NT
By Mike Pidanick
North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur G. Pappas views North Tonawanda as a city on the rise and he expects that trend to continue.
In his second State of the City address, Pappas cited the opening of new businesses, creation of jobs, expansion of existing businesses and continued improvement of infrastructure as reasons why North Tonawanda is on the right path.
"Our city continues to grow economically, culturally and financially," Pappas said during Tuesday's night's bi-monthly meeting at City Hall. "My goal is to continue to move our city forward."
Pappas talked about new businesses on Webster Street, the Mid-City Plaza and Niagara Falls Boulevard and more businesses expected in 2016 on Webster and Sweeney streets, along with the development of Ivy League Construction on Lauck Road.
And while growth is important, Pappas stressed making sure residential needs and concerns are answered as well. Roads are a major concern and Pappas said, last year, more than $1 million was spent on road improvement and another $1 million is expected to be spent on roads in 2016, as well.
"As we continue to strive for economic growth and encourage entities to invest in our community, we must remember that North Tonawanda must invest in itself," Pappas said. "Every area must be cared for, whether it be residential or commercial."
Other improvements North Tonawanda has seen in the past year include the expansion of a bike path along Payne Avenue from Sweeney Street to Mayor's Park that was started last year with the final touches expected this spring.
Other improvements include the competitions of three dock sites in the city, a state-of-the-art basketball court at Payne Park and the $2.4 million renovation of the Frederick B. Durkee Bridge that will expand the life of the bridge by 30 years.
The city also expects to spend to improve the gear and equipment used by firefighters as well as purchase $205,000 worth of new police cars.
In his first State of the City message a year ago, Pappas said he felt North Tonawanda was in a "mini-renaissance." Today, he still feels that way. And in all, the mayor is happy with what has been accomplished in the past year.
"This past year in office was a very busy, educational and exciting time as I worked with all of our department heads, employees and citizens of our great city," he said. "And after being in office for this past year, I'm happy to report that North Tonawanda is in very good shape."
In other business, the Common Council unanimously approved a $2.6 million serial bond resolution for the 2016 Capital Improvements Budget that will aid in repairing damaged city streets and go toward other improvements. The board also unanimously approved the appointment of Luke Brown to the position of assistant city attorney and the appointment of William C. O'Connor to the position of water treatment plant operator trainee.