Tonawanda News

The City

August 28, 2013

City, Natale detail Little League plans

Natale holds information session on Little League Drive housing development

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — To address that, the city and Natale agreed residents will also pay a condo fee to a homeowners’ association, which will be responsible for most of the site’s snow plowing, street maintenance and garbage pickup.

“That is another cost savings for the city,” he said.

Natale General Manager Larry LaDuca, who pointed to his company’s experience in the industry, said construction on the development, tentatively named Heritage, can begin within six to 12 months. The city will receive an estimated $3 million in real property taxes over 25 years after construction begins, Rubin said. 

Residents who packed into City Hall for the session took issue with the planned condo status, and calling it “tax break.” Others, like Tom Bacon, expressed their concern about a retention pond planned for the property abutting their own homes. 

Roger Puchalski, who has been out outspoken about his concerns, pointed out that the contract doesn’t require Natale to complete phase two and three. He also noted that the city’s original request for proposals ruled out a condominium-status development. 

The City of Tonawanda School District also sent a representative to the meeting. The district’s statement said that its officials have approached the city multiple times regarding an interest in four acres of land at the Little League Drive site. 

“It is our desire to utilize the land for green space, practice fields, soccer fields and potentially an additional softball diamond for the children of the taxpayers who pay a full 100 percent of their taxes,” the statement reads. 

The district again requested that the city meet with officials about a possible arrangement.

Rubin said he hopes the contract will go before the council in September. Further approvals will then be needed from the Army Corps of Engineers for wetland remediation, the New York State Attorney General for condominium status and the Erie County Water Authority for the water line connections.

The city planning board and city engineer will also approve the plans. 

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

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