By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — KENMORE — Assemblyman Robin Schimminger said he’s acquired more than $109,000 in state funding for a variety of local projects.
The Town of Tonawanda will receive a sizable portion of the funding, with $30,000 going to the restoration of tennis courts at Mang Park.
“We’ve been trying to get funding for the last couple of years,” Assistant Director of Youth, Parks and Recreation Jeff Ehlers said. “They are definitely in need of repair.”
Ehlers said the base needs to be fixed, courts need to be resurfaced and the fencing also needs to be repaired.
Although residents were still playing on them last season, Ehlers said the improvements will make a big difference.
“You can play on them, but it is a lot nicer when they are new,” he said.
Ehlers said the $30,000 will cover the majority of the construction costs, and he is hoping the restoration will be complete by the start of the spring tennis season.
The town’s police department will also be receiving $19,250 for new equipment in police vehicles. The Kenmore and North Tonawanda firefighters will receive $15,500 for the purchase of much needed safety equipment.
“This funding will ensure that our emergency responders have the proper safety equipment to ensure the proper care of our residents,” Schimminger, D-Kenmore, said.
The former Spaulding Fibre site in the City of Tonawanda, now ready for development, will benefit from an extra $5,000 which will help market the space to prospective businesses.
Another $5,000 will go toward the repair of the Marine Corps Monument in Raymond Klimek Veterans Park in North Tonawanda, and NT’s Sikora Post and the VFW Frontiersmen Post #7545 will each receive $17,500 for building improvements.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Northtowns will receive $28,250 for two of their programs, SMART Moves, which teaches teens the importance of saying no to drugs, and the Project Learn Program, which works to create learning opportunities for children through reading, writing and discussions with successful adults.
“I have been a long-time supporter of the Boys and Girls Clubs, because of the long-term benefits that area youth receive from the programs offered,” Schimminger said. “It’s often the lifeskills taught in these after-school programs that enable young people, especially those at risk, to make smart choices and to become productive members of society.”
Phil Penichter, chief professional officer of the organization, said they are very grateful for Schimminger’s support.
“He has been a great advocate of the educational programs run at the club,” Penichter said. “The recent grant allows the clubs to deal with hundreds of kids ... and be able to discuss the hot issues, like bullying, gangs and drugs.”
The Carrousel Society in North Tonawanda will receive $15,000 for their programming events.
“We have a very full program that runs throughout the year,” museum director Rae Profrock said. “A lot of special events, informal learning events for adults and week-long camps for children on different topics.”
Profrock also said the funding will help pay the salaries of two half-time museum educators.
“We are really excited about it,” she said.
Schimminger said he also obtained funding for the Ken-Ton Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas, which will both receive $15,000 for upgrades in technology and equipment.
Nor-Ton Red Jacket Club, Inc. will receive $2,000 for youth programs held at the Donald F. Miller Park and the YWCA of the Tonawandas will receive $6,000 for security system upgrades.
“I am very pleased to be able to secure the funding needed to complete these worthy community projects. I look forward to seeing these projects come to fruition,” Schimminger said.Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150