By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — A year’s worth of work on the City of Tonawanda’s new pavilion is almost complete, with the structure set to be finished by the end of this week.
“It’s just a few little items that have to be done now,” City Engineer Jason LaMonaco said. “Some dividers need to go up and the carpeting needs to be installed.”
The carpet will be the last item to be put in and will likely be put in Friday.
In the last few months, a great deal of interior work has been completed — including the installation of plumbing, toilets and air conditioning.
“That is something a lot of pavilions don’t have,” Mayor Ron Pilozzi said. “If we had a summer like we had last summer, you can come in and be in air conditioning.”
The paving and parking lot around the building have also been finished.
“There is a round-about and additional parking,” LaMonaco said. “There are roadways up along both sides of it for drop-offs.”
Once the building is ready to go, a City of Tonawanda medallion will be proudly displayed on the river side of the structure.
Furniture, including chairs and tables, have been ordered and will be shipped in early December.
“They are ready, it’s just a matter of getting them here once we are ready,” LaMonaco said.
The city was waiting on $100,000 grant from the state for the black top and retaining wall, but waiting for the grant distribution approval document would have pushed the completion date back months.
Instead, the city council approved a transfer of $250,000 from Spaulding Park’s budget to the pavilion work, ensuring that the paving could be complete before next summer.
LaMonaco said he is working on using the state’s grant money for another purpose. Potential uses for the funding include landscaping work around the pavilion and a continuation of the ongoing project to stabilize the shoreline and control erosion.
The transfer of money from Spaulding Park upped the budget from $1 million to $1.2 million, but LaMonaco said the project hasn’t gone over that figure.
The majority of the funding came from the Niagara River Greenway Commission, which provided $877,000.
Pilozzi campaigned on his idea for the pavilion in 2005. Seven years later, he’s happy to see it nearing completion.
“When it comes to the park improvements we have done, that is the crown jewel,” Pilozzi said. “I am very proud of our ability to do this, and I hope the city residents will be just as proud to see it, too.”
Pilozzi said he hopes to operate the pavilion as the town handles the NOCO Pavilion.
“I am not sure what the council wants, but they rent it out for an evening or what have you,” Pilozzi said. “And the renter also pays for a security deposit. If the place is left the way it was found, then they get that back.”
The city could also rent out the building to an outside company to manage the rentals.
“I wouldn’t start with a lease agreement,” Pilozzi said. “I would think we would try it out and if there are any problems, we can go to that.”Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150.