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Host Communities Standing Committee provides grants for parks in NT, Pendleton

Fri, Sep 18th 2020 12:30 pm

By Michael DePietro

Interim Tribune Editor

On Tuesday, the Host Communities Standing Committee (HCSC) approved a pair of grants for $200,000 in Greenway funding for parks located in North Tonawanda and Pendleton.

North Tonawanda Director of Community Development Michael Zimmerman was on hand to discuss the plans slated for Charles Fleischmann Park, which he described as “a small, under an acre, triangle-shaped park located at the north end of downtown where Webster and Main Street come together.”

Zimmerman said the park project is ultimately another piece in the city’s ongoing downtown revitalization efforts.

“As part of this construction process, this park has been expanded to almost double in size to make it much more accessible, reroute traffic a little bit to make it safer without losing any parking in the area, and also redesigned to be more functional for the community. Hopefully, it can be kind of a downtown meeting space,” Zimmerman said.

On June 16, the project was approved for funding in the amount of $200,000. However, when the project was bid out, certain elements, including a clock tower centerpiece and certain bicycle/pedestrian amenities, came in well over budget and were removed from that proposal.

With the initial construction phase of the project nearing its end, Zimmerman said the city was looking for additional funds to help complete the project as initially envisioned. He went on to say that Charles Fleischmann Park would become the “jewel of downtown.”

Per Greenway’s request, the proposal includes additional signage and wayfinding measurements, as well as new bike racks to help keep it in alignment with the commission’s goals.

According to the project’s January proposal, “The City of North Tonawanda expects the total cost of the Charles Fleischmann Park improvements to be $657.000.”

Greenway funds were also awarded for the construction of the Pendleton Park Community Center to be located at the Pendleton Town Park, a 23-acre park centrally located in the town that surrounds Pendleton’s municipal facilities. The total cost of the project is $575,000, with the remaining costs to be incurred by the town.

According to the town’s Greenway application, the center “will be connected to the existing Pendleton Historical Society Museum and will act as a physical gateway to all features that the park offers.” Additionally the center will serve as an “all-season community center to be utilized by residents, visitors, community groups.”

The project was deemed consistent with Greenway’s goals as it “increases access to, and connections between the Town of Pendleton’s natural and scenic resources, historical and cultural facilities, and recreational destinations through the construction of a public meeting and gathering space.”

Elsewhere in the teleconference, the HCSC voted to name Town of Niagara Supervisor Lee Wallace as the committee chairman and Niagara Falls Mayor Bob Restaino as vice-chair. The pair had previously been selected to fill the respective roles on an interim basis in April.

The HCSC, comprised of the seven members of the Niagara Power Coalition and the New York Power Authority, administers and oversees projects financed by the Greenway Recreation/Tourism Fund in Niagara County.

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