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State grant to restore Remington Building

The city has been awarded a $1 million state grant toward redeveloping the Remington Rand Building.

Council President Brett Sommer made the announcement Wednesday at the Common Council's work session after learning of the approval from State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane.

The money from the Restore New York's Communities Initiative will help to renovate the former printing plant on Sweeney Street.

Developer Anthony Kissling of Manhattan, who has done several projects in Buffalo, plans to convert the 167,000-square-foot building into 51 live/work lofts with an antique and classic boat museum, restaurant and health club on the first floor. The project is estimated to cost $14 million.

"The facility will serve as a business center for small businesses desiring technology support," Maziarz said in his statement. "Greenspace creation will be a significant part of the project. In addition to being a tourist draw, the redevelopment will create housing and business opportunities for local residents and companies."

In a special session, the Council voted unanimously to authorize Mayor Lawrence V. Soos to sign a contract, not to exceed $113,670, with Beck Disaster Recovery of Pensacola, Fla., to monitor the work of Storm Reconstruction Services of Alabama, which is clearing debris from the Oct. 12-13 snowstorm.

SRS is being paid $910,270. The city expects full reimbursement from the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for payments to both companies.

City Clerk Thomas Jaccarino said Beck was hired because the Federal Emergency Management Agency requires very detailed records. The company has employed some local residents as inspectors to measure the truckloads of debris picked up by SRS crews and to verify that the same amount of material is hauled to disposal sites.

The Council also designated Paul Drof, water and wastewater superintendent, to lead the city's application for a $600,000 municipal shared services state grant to study the feasibility of merging North Tonawanda and Lockport's water systems with the Niagara Falls Water Board.

During its work session, the Council directed City Attorney Shawn Nickerson to work out details of a contract with backers of the summer Canal Concert Series on the responsibility of paying for use of Gateway Park if a concert is canceled because of weather or a the withdrawal of a band.

e-mail: lwinchester@buffnews.com

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