Tonawanda News


January 31, 2013

Lumber City's future


Tonawanda News — In the coming year, the mayor said he will look to address the city's ailing housing stock, which has slumped over the last several decades, as an aging and shrinking populace has led to the advent of multi-unit homes. However, Ortt said he will present a one-time tax incentive in the coming weeks that would benefit those who convert the homes back to single family, which he views as better for neighborhoods. 

"I believe that in certain neighborhoods the increase in multiple dwelling, especially low-rent apartments, have created a decrease in housing stock," he said. 

An expansion of the city's recycling program will also ensue, with a pilot program using larger totes replacing bins saving the city $84,000 this year alone. 

He also said binding arbitration and pension reforms will be sought in holding employee benefits to a 2 percent increase. 

"When it comes to one of the biggest drivers of municipal deficits and property taxes, fixing contribution rates would allow North Tonawanda to budget more effectively," he said.  

Tonawanda City Mayor Ron Pilozzi, who was also on hand and will present his state of the city to the common council next week, said many of the obstacles his Niagara County neighbor his facing are also incurred in his city, though he declined to elaborate further. 

First Ward Alderman Russ Rizzo, a Republican-leaning independent on the otherwise Republican city council who has been a part of city and county government since 2000, said after the mayor's address he believes North Tonawanda will continue to be on the upswing with development and future potential. 

"There's more action and less talk than there used to be," he said. 

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

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