Tonawanda News

The City

May 8, 2013

City on sound footing

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — The city’s insurance consultant Brian Baty also attended Tuesday’s session to provide an update on liability insurance. He said $348,000 has been paid out in claims over the last three years, and 60 percent of those payments were the result of car accidents. 

According to Baty, that figure should be around 20 percent.

He advised the city council to sponsor a mandated vehicle safety education course that would cost $35 per individual. Baty said the course could cut down on the number of claims, and that he could set up the course at the council’s request. 

During the council’s regular session, the body unanimously approved a resolution asking the attorney general to direct sentencing fines from the Tonawanda Coke to local remediation efforts. 

“As a result of the criminal actions of Tonawanda Coke Corporation, the neighborhoods in the immediate area of the plant have suffered specific harm and measurable environmental damage as a result of the release of benzene and other pollutants,” the resolution reads. 

The plant faces more than $200 million in fines when it is sentenced in July. Higgins called for the funds to stay local in March, a few days after a jury found the plant and its environmental manager Mark Kahmolz guilty of federal environmental crimes. 

The city passed the resolution at the request of the Tonawanda Community Fund, an organization led by Clean Air Coalition founder Jackie James Creedon, and The Town of Tonawanda has passed a similar resolution. 

At the end of the meeting, the council entered into executive session to discuss ongoing contract negotiations with Natale, the set developer for the Little League Drive housing project. 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter at @JessicaLBagley

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