Tonawanda News — More than 100 locals were welcomed into the City of Tonawanda’s newly completed $1.25 million Niawanda Park Pavilion Tuesday as part of the structure’s open house event.
The celebration came more than a year after construction began at the site in December 2011. Although the project did take longer than expected, the majority of construction came at no cost to the city, as Tonawanda received an $877,000 grant from the Niagara River Greenway Commission.
“This is by far the best view in Western New York,” Rob Belue, executive director of the Greenway Commission said Tuesday after the ribbon cutting. “And not only is this a great view, it provides for economic growth. The contractors hired were local folks, and that is part of the commission’s mission statement.”
The structure was completed in November. Amenities include a fully equipped industrial kitchen, including a stove with six burners, an oven, a double refrigerator, a freezer a microwave and large sink basins. The pavilion also has five 15-foot round tables that can accommodate up to eight people each, as well as eight long rectangular banquet tables. The building can hold up to 130 guests.
Residents who attended Tuesday night’s event were able to sample food from the pavilion’s preferred catering list, which includes Tonawanda Castle, The Grapevine, Mr. and Mrs. Catering Service, Smoke on the Water, Torches, T.C. Wheelers, Lebro's and Pane's Restaurant.
The city began renting the structure out this spring. So far, the city has taken in $17,300 from the rentals, Mayor Ron Pilozzi said Tuesday.
“Weekends are booked for much of the rest of the year,” Pilozzi said.
After the city’s operating costs and debt for the project is paid off, revenue from the structure will be put into an enterprise fund and will finance improvements at all the city’s parks.