By Mike Pidanick
Road conditions were again a topic of concern for residents at Tuesday's North Tonawanda Common Council meeting. But the subject of the complaints, regarding a short stretch on Ridge Road from the Meals on Wheels to Payne Avenue, is not the responsibility of the city.
Barbara Barrett, a Castlebar Drive resident who works with Meals on Wheels, compared that route to an obstacle course. But that patch of road is not owned by the city; it's co-owned by the North Tonawanda School District as well as Sportsplex.
"The city can't step in because we don't own it," Mayor Arthur G. Pappas said during the meeting at NT City Hall. "We can't go on private property and fix roads. That's why the city hasn't taken action."
The issue has been going on for some time and the city has been aware and involved. But, ultimately, it's up to the owning parties to get things done.
"The school district and the Sportsplex has been in a debate, so to speak, for years over who is responsible for that part of the road," Pappas said. "There have been several proposals made, but (it has) never solved anything or ever come close."
The road was one of the topics brought up by community members during the public portion of the meeting, which lasted nearly an hour. But most of the community members took the time to commend the successful 2016 Healing Fields, which honored those lost on Sept. 11, 2001. Among those to speak was Joanne Guercio, president of the Erie-Niagara Sunrise Exchange Club.
"I'm very proud of our Healing Field," she said. "And I'd also like to take the time to thank the board for making it possible for us to have the fields."
Among other business, the council unanimously approved the Donner Creek easements, the latest step in the long-term project to improve sewer lines along Donner Creek. Approximately 25 neighboring residents must sign easements in order for crewmembers to be able to work on the project.