Dunkirk continues to revel in good news of plant conversion - The Buffalo News

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Dunkirk continues to revel in good news of plant conversion

DUNKIRK – City Council members were still celebrating on Tuesday after Sunday’s news from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo that the NRG Energy plant was approved for conversion to natural gas.

The news will provide a 10-year agreement for the coal-fired energy plant to keep operating with natural gas.

After reviewing the news with members of the Council Tuesday at their regular meeting, Mayor A.J. Dolce said the new agreement provides stability for the city for the next 10 years. The mayor said he also received word that funding had been secured for the seawall on Lakefront Boulevard.

Steve Neratko, director of planning and development for Dunkirk, said the two grants total $790,000 and will be more than half the funding for the project. Neratko said he thought the reason for the funding was the city’s new plan to develop the area near the seawall. He said $250,000 in funding will be set aside for demolition of the current seawall and preparation of the new structure. Neratko said that the new proposal will improve restrooms, build a splash pad, a new promenade to the beach and include new playground equipment.

Dolce agreed that the improvements to the overall project will make the boulevard area a “destination.”

In other matters:

• Dunkirk Police will provide a school resource officer to Dunkirk schools.

• The Army Corps of Engineers was granted permission to do survey and exploratory work on city owned lands near the waterfront. The agreement is for one year.

• Council members agreed that Zoning and Planning Board members should attend required training programs. A resolution was unanimously approved outlining the training requirements for each member and the number of hours required for maintaining membership on the board.

• Councilwoman at large Stephanie Kiyak voted against a motion to lease a new copier for City Hall. She said that she felt not enough exploration was done on the topic and the lease for $21,000 was more than should be spent over the next several years. The new equipment will allow city employees to save documents in a digital format.

• Kiyak also voted against a motion to extend the contract for Wendy Spinuzza to work with the building, housing and zoning offices. She works under an independent contract for $612 per week.

• Kiyak also asked DPW Director Tony Gugino to explain the $34,800 change order for 300 feet of water line replacement. She said the finance committee questioned the change order and why it was not sent out as a bidding contract. Gugino said the amount was within the $50,000 change order increase that was authorized for the water line replacement project, which was ongoing this summer. Gugino said that the water line on Mullett Street was in poor condition and would need replacement before long. He said he agreed with the contractor and engineers that the work should be done during the other replacement projects.

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