Council unveils Hometown Hero banner for longtime veteran
By David Yarger
On Tuesday night at North Tonawanda City Hall, the NT Common Council met for their second meeting of the month. The meeting began with a proclamation presentation and the unveiling of a new Hometown Hero banner, which are hanged at the City Market.
The banner and proclamation were awarded to William Gosch, a longtime veteran of the Marine Corp, who also received several battle stars in his time.
To start, Alderman Bob Pecoraro - a veteran himself - presented the proclamation to Gosch on behalf of the Niagara County Legislature.
Part of the proclamation read, "Whereas one such individual, who has left a valuable legacy through his dedication to the Marine Corp, while serving in WWII, the Pacific Theater, and to the City of North Tonawanda. That person is Mr. William Gosch.
"Whereas Niagara County is extremely proud of its citizens who served as members of the various branches of the United States Armed Services. And whereas Niagara County is grateful to those who have placed their lives in danger, while defending our country, so that the citizens of Niagara County and these United States remain free."
The proclamation also praised the work Gosch has done in the City of North Tonawanda.
Alderman Bob Pecoraro hands veteran William Gosch a proclamation from the Niagara County Legislature
The banner unveiling also included a proclamation from the city, which praised Gosch's service.
Gosch said, "I want to thank everyone for the honor of this recognition. Thank you, it makes me feel good. It's an honor."
During closing remarks, Common Council members took time to say a few words about Gosch.
"Anyone that fought in the South Pacific as a Marine is a tough man, and I want to appreciate and say, Mr. Gosch, we really value your service," Pecoraro said.
Alderman Donna Braun said, "I would like to congratulate Mr. Gosch. I remember the first time I met Mr. Gosch. It was my first year out walking - meeting residents of the second ward - and I started at your house and I ended at your house, because you welcomed me into your home and you told me about the unique house that you live in. ... I hold that very close to my heart."
North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur Pappas said, "Mr. Gosch, I'll tell you, we are all so proud of you and to have you as part of the community."
In other news:
• With summer coming to a close, Alderman Mark Berube reflected on the summer North Tonawanda had.
"This past Thursday, a bunch of us had attended the last of the Thursday concerts at Gratwick Park, which was a great event. It's nice being the first ward alderman the number of events that have been held there, between the Thursday concerts, boat races, the beer and wine festival we had there ... and some of the events we've been having there have been phenomenal this year. ... It was a great summer if you were ever over at Gratwick Park," Berube said.
Last Thursday, the council was honored at the final Thursdays on the Water concert and Alderman Eric Zadzilka presented the attendees of the meeting the plaque they received.
Alderman Eric Zadzilka and North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur Pappas reveal a plaque the Common Council was given at the final Thursdays on the Water concert
• Assistant City Attorney Nick Robinson alerted residents about a hefty amount of car break-ins, and said residents should check and make sure their cars are securely locked at night.
"Make sure you lock your cars, make sure you lock your houses. It needs to be done. It's unfortunate, but you have to do it. If you can't protect yourself, the police can only do so much. ... Do what you need to do with locking your house and cars. It's very important," Robinson said.
Zadzilka added that the thieves have a technology nowadays that tells them if a car is unlocked or not, and several neighborhoods have been victim to the break-ins.
• The council approved several motions from Bill Davignon, Water and Wastewater Department superintendent.
The first item approved Nussbaumer & Clarke to apply for the New York State Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 grant. The grant allows up to 60 percent reimbursement for the replacement of the water filtration plant backup power generator. The project is necessary and provides uninterrupted public water supply for drinking and fire protection in the case of a power outage or catastrophic event.
Another notable item on the project awarded an aluminum sulfate bid for the water treatment plant to Thatcher Company of New York Inc. Others included the appropriation of funds for the city's standby generator and variable frequency drive replacement project, as well as approval of change orders No. 1 and 2, and final project acceptance. All motions were approved unanimously.
• The next City of North Tonawanda Common Council meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4.