Tonawanda News

August 24, 2012

City disputes gazebo repairs

By Jessica Bagley ,
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Almost a year after construction began on a new gazebo in the City of Tonawanda, the project remains unfinished, according to city officials. 

One of those last details is a light that will hang from the middle of the gazebo’s ceiling.

“That should be in next week,” Mayor Ron Pilozzi said.

City Engineer Jason LaMonaco also sent a list of items for the contractor to fix before the city pays the bill for the construction. But LaMonaco said he’s currently in a squabble with the contractor over the list, which requires some additional paint and the repair of two loose railings.

According to LaMonaco, the contractor is arguing they are not responsible for the railing repairs. 

“My stance is that they did the same procedure on the other railings, and only these two are loose,” LaMonaco said. 

Pilozzi said people could technically use the gazebo before all those finishing touches are complete, but he isn’t thrilled about the idea. 

“It is minor stuff,” he said. “But I don’t like to use something until it’s done.”

The old gazebo collapsed in 2010 as city workers attempted to make structural repairs, injuring two men in the process. Two years later, construction began on a new gazebo in mid-September. 

Construction on the iconic structure was originally set to be complete in October, but workers discovered the foundation beneath the gazebo was hollow shortly after starting their work. LaMonaco said the delay didn’t cost much in terms of money, but the issue set the bulk of construction back until the spring and summer.  Per the original plan, contractors were only supposed to be painting in the spring. 

The gazebo has been a structure in Clinton Park for decades, and was replaced once before in the 1970s. Pilozzi said he hopes to use the new and improved gazebo more than ever before — for events like summer concerts — once it’s completely finished. 

City officials also discussed the status of Spaulding Commerce Park Tuesday night at the council’s meeting. LaMonaco said he is waiting on grant distribution approval in the amount of $82,000 for the interior work of the park, which includes sidewalk installation and tree planting. 

The city will also need to receive a certificate of completion to recognize the environmental work done at the site before the park is done, hopefully by the end of September. 

Council members took advantage of the discussion to raise the issue of a potentially dangerous drop-off from recently installed sidewalks on the Hinds Street side of a business park being built on the former Spaulding Fibre site. 

“The street and the curbs are high, and then behind the sidewalk, there is a drop-off there,” LaMonaco said.

The fill brought in to replace the contaminated dirt at the site has all been used, but LaMonaco said he is hoping a business that will come into that area may lessen the incline.

“We just need to make sure it’s safe for people to get around there,” Council President Carelton Zeisz said. 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150.

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150.