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COUNCIL APPROVES JOINT PLAN TO DEVELOP HARBOR

The Common Council Tuesday night approved a cooperative plan with the state to develop North Tonawanda Harbor. On the recommendation of Michele Tow, director of the city Community Development Office, the Council authorized Mayor James A. McGinnis to sign an agreement with the State Canal Corp. to proceed with the harbor project.

The city and the Canal Corp. worked cooperatively to take the Tonawandas Gateway initiative from concept phase through the preliminary design stage, Ms. Tow said.

"The project is now ready to progress to final design, environmental clearance, preparation of construction documents, permitting, bidding and construction," she said.

The project agreement provides for $1.1 million in state resources for improvements at Pinochle Park on the Erie Canal downtown, including a retaining wall, docking, pedestrian plaza, Gateway Pavilion, landscaping and lighting, Ms. Tow said.

"Based on the cost estimate prepared by EDR Associates, the design consultant, and Dale Marshall, city engineer, the city's share in cash resources for the total $11.45 million project will be under $100,000," she said.

Grant resources for sewer and water improvements and benches along with in-kind engineering inspection and Department of Public Works services will provide the balance of resources for the harbor project, she added.

The project agreement also provides $451,000 in state resources to design and upgrade approximately 800 linear feet of canal wall between Main Street and a railroad bridge near Oliver Street, Ms. Tow said.

Also at Ms. Tow's request, the Council authorized the mayor to sign a request to the state Department of Environmental Conservation to incorporate the south portion of the former Roblin Steel site off Oliver Street in the city's environmental restoration project grant approved Sept. 23.

The 1996 state Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act provides resources for the investigation and remediation of municipally owned, contaminated properties.

Recently the city received approval of its application to investigate the 12-acre north end of the site, the portion the city owned at the time the grant request was submitted to the DEC last July.

Last month the city secured the south end of the property, another 12 acres, in foreclosure proceedings.

The revised project cost would be about $192,000 -- initial cost was $112,000 -- and the city's share $48,000.

The Council also passed two resolutions requesting Clean Water/Clean Air funds of $1 million to apply on a supervisory control and data acquisition system, estimated to cost $1.25 million to improve efficiency and reliability at the city wastewater treatment plant. The city share would be $187,500.

Also, the city will apply for $637,500 in Bond Act resources for wastewater treatment disinfection conversion from gaseous chloride to sodium hypochlorite to improve operations at the plant, Superintendent Paul Drof said.

Ms. Tow said the Bond Act would provide up to 85 percent of wastewater treatment improvement project costs on a grant basis with a 15 percent local share required.

The city share would be $112,500, she said.

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