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Board plans to improve Kenney Field

Improvements planned for Kenney Field moved forward a few steps Monday as the Democratic majority on the Tonawanda Town Board approved financial and contractual resolutions.

The project calls for the installation of lighting for the athletic fields at Brighton Road and Colvin Boulevard and construction of restrooms, a concession stand and storage facilities.

In the first of three related votes, $105,000 in financial commitments were accepted from three businesses and two athletic organizations.

Ciminelli Construction has promised $25,000, and commitments of $20,000 each have been made by John W. Danforth Co., Carubba Collision, the Ken-Ton Soccer Association and the Town of Tonawanda Football Association.

With the second vote, the town agreed to spend $85,000 from its recreation facilities improvement capital reserve fund.

Town Supervisor Ronald H. Moline and Councilman John E. Donnelly, who are both Republicans, opposed the measures. One of Moline's concerns is the legal significance of the letters of commitment from the private donors.

"I would describe it as a commitment," Town Attorney Daniel T. Cavarello said at the board's afternoon work session. The commitments aren't enforceable, he said.

At the work session, Councilmen John A. Bargnesi Jr. and Joseph H. Emminger defended the businesses. "They are not fly-by-night companies," Emminger said.

With a price tag of approximately $410,000 for the project, there are state grants contributing $102,000 -- in addition to the town's $85,000 and the $105,000 in private donations that will be paid over a period of years.

In the third resolution related to Kenney Field, three contracts were awarded for site work.

P&D Construction was awarded a contract worth $174,500; Frey Electric, $15,000; and Industrial Power & Lighting Corp., $124,300.

As for the lights, two stadium light standards, each with 21 fixtures, will be installed. It will cost approximately $10 an hour to operate the lights, said Robert M. Morris, director of the town's technical support department.

In other business Monday, Anthony J. Palombo was sworn in as the town's eighth chief of police. The oath was administered by outgoing Chief Lawrence A. Hoffman III, whose retirement takes effect Feb. 1.

e-mail: jhabuda@buffnews.com

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