By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News
CITY OF TONAWANDA — The planned reopening celebration for the Clinton Park Gazebo has been delayed until the spring, city officials said. The event was scheduled for tonight, but council President Carleton Zeisz said the event is better suited for warmer weather.
“It will be too cold for a band outside for the event now,” he said.
Originally set to be complete October 2011, the project hit a number of speed bumps that caused a lengthy delay. Over the past year, the city took quite a deal of criticism from residents as to how such a small and seemingly uncomplicated structure could take so long.
City Engineer Jason LaMonaco said problems with the foundation caused the bulk of the delay, but squabbles with the contractor over correcting small problems at the end of construction set the project back even more.
Construction on a new gazebo began after the old one collapsed in 2010, injuring two workers in the process. Their injuries and possible litigation that came as a result of the was never made public.
Another outstanding city project, the pavilion, is still about a month away from completion, according to City Engineer Jason LaMonaco.
The city was waiting for a $100,000 grant from Republican state Sen. Mark Grisanti for work on the blacktop and retaining wall, but LaMonaco said they have decided to repurpose those funds for another project and not use them for the structure.
“It takes so long for the grant distribution approval, it would be another year,” he said. “We didn’t want to hold the project up.”
LaMonaco said the $100,000 loss won’t cause the city to go over the $1.2 million budget, but the numbers are now a bit tighter.
The project was originally budgeted at $1 million, but the city approved a $200,000 transfer from Spaulding Business Park allocations to the pavilion.
“We aren’t going to go above what we were authorized to spend,” LaMonaco said.
Contractors are currently conditioning interior space and paving for the black top in a round-about in front of the structure, as well as getting a gas meter installed.
Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150.