Tonawanda News — But Pilozzi argued it has been rented out 182 times until the end of 2013, and that the building serves as an asset to attract people to the city.
“It has been a big success,” he said.
Brunner and Gilbert discussed ongoing flooding issues in the First Ward, which, per the sewer revamping plan, won’t be completely corrected until 2015. Work is first taking place near Spaulding Fiber and the Little League Drive property to allow for the developments to take place.
“2015 was always the target,” Gilbert said. “Businesses create more sewage than a home.”
In response, Brunner said his basement flooded multiple times this summer and argued that the problem should be corrected.
“I’m definitely not alone,” he said. “This never happened before. Who’s been holding down the fort?”
Two newcomers, Smilinich and Juliano, debated People Inc.’s proposal to develop the former Highland Elementary School into 38 multi-use, low-income apartments. The city zoning board has denied a variance request from the organization.
Smilinich argued that a traffic study should be completed to ensure that nearby residents’ quality of life isn’t impacted.
“There are too many residents having to put up with it,” she said.
But Juliano said that the property is not providing anything to the city, and that the construction and redevelopment will benefit the city.
“The grass and trees will be maintained, and it will bring more people to the city, which is the goal. I’m for the project,” he said.
The district has recently sold another vacant school, Central, despite an effort to develop the building into a community center.
“We could have made it into one of the best community buildings in the area,” Slisz, the incumbent, said, noting that Tonawanda currently does not have a center for the residents.