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September 18, 2013

City puts off Natale housing vote

Tonawanda News — City of Tonawanda Council President Carleton Zeisz said Tuesday that the body will not consider approving the contract with Natale until after November elections are held.

“There are still questions members of the council have ... and we definitely will not look at it until after the elections when we have a full council,” he said during the body’s regular meeting.

The council’s First Ward seat has been open since last month, when Heather Little stepped down after moving out of the city. At the council’s last meeting, Zeisz said the council will not fill the seat until November, when the winner of the election will assume the position.

Democrat Paul Brunner and Republican Charles Gilbert are on the ballot.

Mayor Ron Pilozzi and Natale, the set developer for the project, reached a contract agreement with Natale, the set developer for the housing project, at the end of July. Natale has agreed to pay $192,000 for the 16.94-acre property off of Little League Drive.

The contract calls for the construction of 56 homes, which will be classified under the state’s condominium status, meaning they will be assessed at 60 percent of their full market value.  In exchange for the tax break that will result from the condo status, Natale will pay for the infrastructure work at the site, including the installation of water and sewer lines under terms of the deal. 

The council must first approve the contract before Pilozzi signs the document.

The council also held a public hearing Tuesday night on abandoning 165 feet of Arthur Street. Zeisz referred to the area as a “paper street” Tuesday, as the swath of land near Twin Cities Memorial Highway is not actually a road.

The city is considering abandoning the area from its intersection with Fillmore Avenue. The residents who own land adjacent to the land would then assume ownership of some of that property, which would then go back on the tax rolls.

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