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Tonawanda seeks residents' input on city's future

City of T0nawanda leaders are inviting residents to share their ideas for improving the city at a second Comprehensive Plan meeting scheduled 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Mayor Rick Davis

"It really is a vision for how people see the city moving forward over the next 10 to 20 years," Mayor Rick Davis said of the planning process.

City leaders and professional planning consultants for the city will host the meeting at Tonawanda High School, 150 Hinds St.

"We sent a survey to the high school to get some of the students' ideas of what they'd like to see," said Davis. "(We asked them) what would entice you to call the City of Tonawanda home?"

Davis said the comprehensive plan encompasses the vision for the entire city, unlike the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP) which is the vision specifically for the enhancement of the waterfront over the next 10 to 20 years. The LWRP was also a community-driven plan, he said, and noted one of the highlights includes a nearly $1 million dock expansion project, funded by state and potential Greenway funds. The city has also received $13 million state grant for repairs to its water and sewer infrastructure.

But Davis said the comprehensive plans is "a blueprint" for the city's future." He added, "We are looking for any and all ideas."

He said at the first comprehensive plan meeting they broke up into small groups to identify some of the assets in the community – using Lego blocks as markers. Davis said those who attended were very positive and very driven to find ideas for the city's future.

"There were some ideas that were thrown around that we hadn't thought of; ideas that work in other communities that people have discovered in their travels," said Davis. "That's the whole reason why we are doing this."

The second comprehensive plan meeting will work to clarify and pinpoint some of those ideas and discuss how those ideas might work in the City of Tonawanda, he said.

"I really want us to look at our solvency as a city and the main way to do that is through the planning process," said Davis, who said he pushed for the updates to the LWRP and the Comprehensive Plan. He said in the future the city will have to look to update its zoning codes, which haven't been updated since the 1950s.



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