Tonawanda News

June 19, 2013

Town's water tank to be torn down

By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — The town board accepted a bid Monday night in the amount of $62,204 for the demolition of the Green Acres Storage Tank. 

”It is somewhat of a landmark,” board member Joseph Emminger said. “It has been there for 55 or 60 years.”

The water tank, which is visible from I-290, hasn’t been used since 1996 due to its deteriorating condition. Officials announced in September that the structure would be taken down after determining that repairing the tank would cost $1.8 million.

The town received seven bids for the tear down, and although officials were hoping the project would cost $100,000, Apollo Dismantling Service’s low bid came in at much less. 

”This is quick project,” Director of Water Resources Ken Maving said. “It’ll start up in about two weeks, and in a matter of a week or so, everything will be gone, including the base.” 

The board also approved a $68,368 deal with an architectural firm to complete a six-month study on a waterfront corridor improvement project on River Road. The cost for the consultant’s work will be covered by a grant from the Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund.

The town and the consultant will consider three alternatives and their related costs to identify the best way of improving the waterfront. 

Town officials presented a proposal for the project in front of the Greenway commission in February, and received approval for the study a few months later. 

Jim Jones, town engineer, said at the February presentation that the project would improve environmental conditions, change negative perceptions about the waterfront and create a better climate for future investment. 

A confrontational zoning debate was also resolved Monday night at the board’s regular meeting when the body rescinded a local businessman’s special use permit. 

Thomas Shea, the owner of an automotive repair shop located at 1346 Niagara Falls Boulevard, applied for the permit in January to expand his business into used car sales. 

Discussions over the zoning issue became unusually combative at the body’s last meeting when attorney Corey Auerbach, of Damon Morey LLC, took to the microphone to object to the proposal. Auerbach represents Arista LLC, which owns a single-family home directly to the west of the car shop, as well as a mixed-use commercial building to the south.

”We think the proposed use for this property is not appropriate for this location and that the application is facially deficient,” Auerbach said at the last meeting. “It does not comply with the minimum requirements.”

After back-and-forth between Shea, Auerbach and board member Joseph Bargnesi, the board approved the granting of the special use permit subject to the town attorney’s approval. 

But Monday night, per the attorney’s recommendation, the body voted to rescind the permit in a 3 to 1 vote. 

Also at Monday’s meeting: 

• The board authorized the supervisor to complete paperwork for a $400,000 grant secured by state Assemblyman Robin Schimminger for the reconstruction of Lincoln Park Drive. The Town Highway Department determined a complete reconstruction of the street is needed, including a new base, pavement, curbing and driveway aprons. The total cost for the project is estimated to be $426,000. Work on Lincoln will take place later this year. 

• The board set an 8 percent brokerage fee to any qualified and licensed New York state real estate broker who procures the sale of a portion of the North Youngmann Commerce Center, the town’s new business park. “This is just another step in us getting ready,” Emminger said. “The decision mirrors the City of Tonawanda’s Spaulding Commerce Center ... we are getting closer and closer to making this park a reality.” 

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