Tonawanda News

The City

May 7, 2014

Natale may sue City of Tonawanda

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — The city planned to issue another RFP for companies to develop the property, but has not yet due to the possible lawsuit from Natale.

In other news, the council also tabled a two-year contract with Canal Fest on Tuesday night. Common Council President Carleton Zeisz said the agreement was tabled because Canal Fest Inc. owes them $6,000 from the 2013 and 2012 events.

The owed money is part of a $3,000 yearly cost that Canal Fest is contractually obligated to pay for capital improvements to the city.

Canal Fest is aware of the issue with the payments, Zeisz said.

Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum Director Rae Proefrock, whose organization sponsors the fest rides, attended the meeting to discuss the contract, which specifies a closing time of 10 p.m. The council first changed the closing time from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. in 2012, based on the recommendation from the city’s police chief, who hoped rowdiness and arrests would decrease as a result.

Profrock expressed concern that ride operator Corky Powers, of Powers Great American Midways, won’t continue to come to Tonawanda due to a reduction in revenue.

“He is a businessman, and he can not afford to lose any more revenue,” Proefrock said. “He’s losing six hours of revenue, and it is one of the (largest) revenue producing hours.”

Powers’ contract was up last year, and although he will be at Canal Fest this summer, he hasn’t signed another multi-year deal.

“We are jeopardizing the possibility that they’ll be back,” Proefrock told the council. “When we lose this midway, and I guarantee we will, we will not get a first class midway ... and any accidents that result from an inferior midway will be placed on your heads.”

Zeisz and other council members defended the city.

“This city has supported Canal Fest for 30 years, and the city has borne the brunt of this event,” Zeisz said. “I do believe ... the time change has made a difference.”

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

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