Tonawanda News

February 6, 2013

One more hurdle before extension

By Michael Regan
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — North Tonawanda has acquired the last parcel along Erie Avenue that will allow it to proceed with a planned Meadow Drive extension project. 

Two of three owners of the land at 1094 Erie Ave. had already consented to sell the property to the city, while a third individual agreed to do the same after attending a public hearing last month. 

“We do now have three signatures on the deed,” said Shawn Nickerson, city attorney. 

However, the city is still working through the legalities of two liens on the property dating back to 2004 and 2005, though Nickerson said he has progressed toward a solution after contacting Buffalo and New York City law firms requesting that judgement creditors remove them.  

Nickerson filed condemnation proceedings in case the judgement creditors decide not to renege on the liens, which he said would be less than the $3,000 price tag on the 9,800 square-foot parcel. 

“It will either be door number one or door number two,” he said Tuesday evening, after informing the common council of the sale agreement. 

He has been in contact with both parties during the last two weeks, while representatives of the firms have yet to return a release form that would allow the city to start the extension of the roadway by March. Yet the city would still have the option to pursue eminent domain in court, an avenue Nickerson said he would like to avoid though one that he believes would ultimately give the city ownership.  

The council recently avoided other obstacles related to the project when the state Department of Environmental Conservation agreed to reclassify an area once deemed a wetland and CSX Rail Company granted two easements on its property for the future roadway.

Council members and city engineer Dale Marshall said the extension will alleviate traffic congestion along Erie Avenue and other areas in the growing commercial corridor. 

In other council news: 

• A request to donate a parcel of land at 787 Wall St. to the city was approved, while the council will consider adding it to an annual property auction held later this year. 

Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.

Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.