CITY OF TONAWANDA — Two years of negotiations later, the City of Tonawanda council passed a resolution Tuesday that will allow Mayor Ron Pilozzi to draft a contract with Natale Builders to develop land off Little League Drive.
The decision comes after months of residents attending council meetings to protest the development. And although officials were aware of the concerns, they argued the project is necessary to increase the city’s tax base and the council pushed forward with negotiations.
Tuesday, Council President Carleton Zeisz disclosed a few details about what came out of those negotiations — and what the current plan is.
“As of right now, the developer will be paying for the infrastructure,” Zeisz said. “That’s the direction we are going in.”
The estimated cost of the infrastructure, including sewer and water lines, is about $1.5 million.
Zeisz also said Natale will likely be paying the city a total of $192,000 for the land. The construction is set to be broken into two phases — the first with 20 homes and the second with 26.
The payment will be broken into two payments as well, one of $120,000 and the second of $72,000 — which Natale will pay after it receives its financing from the bank for each phase.
Per the current plan, the project will be built with a homeowners’ association that will be responsible for the upkeep of roads, sidewalks and the development’s common areas, which the association will own.
The city will plow the roads from Fletcher Street to the park, however.
Councilwoman Heather Little was the lone voter against Tuesday’s resolution to move ahead with the project. Although Councilman Richard Slisz has also expressed disapproval regarding the negotiations, he was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.
Residents began voicing their concerns about the project after Roger Puchalski, of Adam Street, took to the microphone at a meeting in August. Puchalski said three outside assessments, one completed as recently as 2009, set the value of the 16.94-acre property at or above $500,000.