Tonawanda News

The City

June 28, 2012

LL Drive housing renewed

(Continued)

CITY OF TONAWANDA —

Tax revenue from a fully developed Little League Drive could, in theory, account for an additional $200,000 per year to offset rising expenses in the city, Iraci said.

A bicycle path in the area near Two Mile Creek Road would have to be moved slightly closer to the creek at the project’s western edge, while two small wetland areas would also need to be worked around.

The council spoke on Tuesday of the likelihood that a berm including some kind of low shrubbery would likely be added to maintain privacy for residents along Fletcher Street.

Currently, the developer is discussing four completely different floor plans, and additional aesthetic variables for each. 

Natale stands to buy the property for $172,000.

In March, six months after the plan seemed doomed, this year’s council revived the idea, this time with support in the Fourth Ward from newly elected Alderman Tyler Kossow. His predecessor, William Poole and Third Ward Alderman Richard Slisz blocked it last year.

Slisz remains steadfast his opposition to the plan, representing the lone dissenter this spring when the council by a 4-1 vote named Natale Builders Corp. — the same company that submitted the original plan — as the designated developer for the site, located officially at 151 Little League Drive.

Slisz and Poole last year had raised several objections to the project and succeeded in getting the plan pulled last August by denying the council the supermajority needed by law to approve the deal.

A major issue then was a request from Natale for the city to fund the installation of water and sewer infrastructure. Natale was originally expected to pay for all infrastructure costs. Slisz and Poole also doubted that the housing market could support the new homes.

If the city approves Natale’s plan, taxpayers would fund the $1.7 million infrastructure installation. In the event the houses aren’t built and sold — and thus begin generating property tax revenue for the city — Natale would be responsible for reimbursing the city for the infrastructure cost by virtue of a performance bond Natale must secure before their plans are approved.

Contact city editor Neale Gulley at 693-1000, ext. 4114

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