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City of Tonawanda to move forward with Natale contract

BY: Tiffany Monde, Tonawanda Source | November 08, 2012

TONAWANDA - The City of Tonawanda Common Council passed a resolution on Tuesday that allows Mayor Ron Pilozzi to start drafting a contract with Natale Builders, despite the continued protest from residents.

One of the biggest issues residents had was the city paying for the infrastructure costs, but through negotiations, the costs will now be paid by the developer.

The council wants to push forward with the project and said that it is necessary to increase the city’s tax base.

Roger Puchalski and his wife Debbie Puchalski, of Adam Street, have been some of the biggest protesters against the land sale. A few weeks ago, Debbie presented the council with a petition from community members asking the council for better communication on the matter. Neither were at Tuesday night’s council meeting to comment on the matter.

“Nothing is really a surprise here, I think all along people had thought we had all these surprises to tell them, but we don’t have any, and I’ll continue sharing things as they come,” said Council President Carleton Zeisz.

The price Natale will be paying will most likely be $192,000, broken down into two payments of $120,000 and $72,000. The estimated cost of the infrastructure is $1.5 million.

Zeisz said from a city standpoint there is no financial investment and the project will be built with the homeowners association. The city will have a right-of-way access through the development so they will plow during the winter through the development down to the park.

Zeisz is planning to have an informational meeting with residents in the last week of November to keep them updated on the plans. While he said they won’t know much more in three weeks he wants to keep the city informed.

Councilwoman Heather Little was the only council member to vote against the project.

“When the RFP went out in 2009 it was my understanding that they did not want condo status and I think what’s being mislead tonight is that condo status means that those houses will be paying 60 percent of the taxes, while you pay 100 percent on yours.”

In other council news there was also a small ceremony for Tonawanda City Firefighters who recently completed schooling to become paramedics.

Mayor Pilozzi also announced his new administrative assistant, Richard Planavsky, former management consultant to County Executive Chris Collins and Urban Renewal for 13 years.

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