Tonawanda News

Local News

July 9, 2014

Council considers sale of library land

Tonawanda News — Board members from the North Tonawanda Public Library will likely win approval from the city council to sell two small parcels of land next to its Meadow Drive locale for expanding parking at a nearby funeral home.

Library Board President Paul Sikora first approached the city about the arrangement in May, after an offer was tendered from the Wattengel Funeral Home, which abuts the library property. The business owners would like to add 40 parking spaces for its growing enterprise. 

On Tuesday, during a work session, the council appeared ready to approve the sale of a 193-by-170-foot parcel of land at the east end of the library property, owned by the city at 533 Meadow Drive, for $8,400. 

“We were never going to use that lot,” Sikora said, following the meeting. “We looked at that lot years ago to expand but decided against it.” 

Sikora said the deal would contain no “connecting road” or egress from the library to the funeral home parking lot, stating it would add to confusion from patrons on where exactly they should park. He also said that a natural barrier of shrubs or trees should be installed on the eastern end of the lot. 

Several city council members said they had concerns over those issues, but after speaking to residents nearby, those worries were assuaged. 

“Our primary concern was a potential public safety problem,” said Mal Needler, alderman-at-large. “I go to the library every couple weeks and and every time I’m there there’s somebody parking in the funeral home parking lot.” 

 Nonetheless, the council will likely bring the issue to a vote on Aug. 8. 

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