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North Tonawanda project comes under budget

Fri, Sep 6th 2019 03:20 pm

By Benjamin Joe

Tribune Editor

City of North Tonawanda Engineer Dale Marshall was heard at the Common Council Meeting commenting on changing the price tag of the Sweeney Canal Dock Extension to approximately $14,000 less than was originally predicted.

Marshall said the reason for the deduction was that the extension was shortened.

“Some of the big cost savings on the project were that we re-engineered it,” Marshall said. “What happened is we could not get the last set of piles in, so the docks were actually eight feet shorter than they were supposed to be and that saved us a lot of money.”

Bill Davignon, superintendent of water, also spoke in regard to two grant applications he would like to see the council and Mayor Arthur Pappas to get behind. The first is for a secondary generator, and the second is to repair a wet well.

“Structurally, the wet well has to be from the 1800s,” Davignon said. “It’s an original wet well where the water is stored after it’s treated and then we pump it to our tanks in the city; then it goes to people’s homes. That wet well is a concrete basin, very basic, but it’s starting to crumble and it needs repair. I think we got the use out of it for 100 years.”

That project, Davignon said, will cost $8.4 million.

As for the secondary generator, Davignon said that there have been no major outages, but he doesn’t want to depend on a 1940s generator holding up the entire plant.

“This is a really good project,” he said. “Occasionally we’ve been temporarily out of power where we can’t produce water. … By putting in this generator … it should last us another 40 years.”

The type of grant each of the projects need is called a Water Infrastructure Improvement Act Grant or WIIA grant. According to Davignon, the city can only receive $3 million in WIIA funds.

”We are limited to a $3 million WIIA grant maximum,” he said. “Or 60%. So, if we hit a WIIA grant on both of them, it’ll cap out at $3 million total, but $3 million off would be awfully nice.”

In three late items, Detective Daniel Wilczak, Officer Kevin Whitehead, Officer Bradley Janzen, School Crossing Guard Vincent Cardona, and School Crossing Guard Robert Haley were added to the North Tonawanda police force.

Input from citizens included complaints on lack of street care, particularly on Oliver St. where Paramount Pictures will be filming next week, resident Bob Brennan said. Megan Campbell gave photographs and descriptions of the lack of service from the Department of Public Works by her address on Harding Road.

Eric Zadzilka, common council president, said he and Mayor Pappas would look into the issue for the resident. He later said that he believed in helping people who come to him, but that sometimes the process can be quite slow.

“I honestly believe everything needs a process and, unfortunately, not everybody agrees with how fast it goes, or how slow it’s taking; but we do need to do it right,” Zadzilka said. He then shared an article that praised North Tonawanda with a low crime rate, and an affordable lifestyle. “We’re named as the best city in New York state, and that says something.”

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