By Neale Gulley
The Tonawanda News
The North Tonawanda Common Council tentatively approved more than $100,000 in completed change orders for work done to convert the Buffalo Bolt property to a business park that’s already getting the attention of local businesses.
City Engineer Dale Marshall cited five separate excavations in addition to the roughly $1 million in recent work to install infrastructure, curbing and a looping roadway to the burgeoning business park.
“It was a difficult project,” he said, detailing additional money spent to handle large dirt mounds on the property, reconfigure a water main serving nearby businesses, demolish buried foundations and install a new pump station serving nearby Brittany Industries.
Marshall said the council is being asked to approve the work months after it was completed, partly because the city and engineering consultants haggled with contractor Scott Lawn Yard over the cost of materials and labor.
The total adjusted contractual cost of $921,000, is still less than the third lowest bid for the work received when the project was originally put to bid.
The project, however, was funded using a $1.2 million state grant obtained in 2008.
The 22-acre former bolt factory — perhaps the strongest symbol of the city’s industrial past — is now being marketed by the city as roughly eight shovel-ready lots.
North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt said Aquasol has purchased two of the lots while Armstrong Pumps may consider three more even as another anonymous city business has also expressed interest.
“We’ve been talking to another North Tonawanda company that’s looking to buy two more lots,” Ortt said. “We want somebody that’s a job creator and also aesthetically pleasing and will help to bring back Oliver Street.”
Ortt said considering the amount of money and time that has gone into preparing the site, officials want to tread carefully when marketing the remaining space, so as to attract businesses that expand opportunities in the city while adding to the tax base.
“There’s a lot of tax dollars on some level, invested in this property so we want to make sure we’re headed in the right direction,” he said.