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Board raises its glass to Coca-Cola exclusivity

After considering "exclusive pouring rights" offers from two bottling companies, Town of Tonawanda officials have made a decision. Coke is it.

The Town Board has scheduled a public hearing for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28 on a proposed license agreement with Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Buffalo.

Under the agreement, only Coca-Cola products would be sold at venues of the town's Youth, Parks and Recreation Department. The proposed agreement covers three years, beginning Oct. 1, and is renewable for two additional three-year terms.

Town Attorney Daniel T. Cavarello said Monday night that the town's revenue would be based on volume of sales; further details of the agreement weren't immediately available.

What the offer doesn't include is the generous annual payments made to municipalities and school districts in years past. The Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District, for instance, had received $100,000 a year under a 10-year agreement with Coca-Cola that expired last month.

"Those days are gone," he said.

The town had issued a request for proposals to which Coca-Cola and Pepsi responded. "Coke has a better offer," Cavarello said.

In other matters Monday night, Town Supervisor Anthony F. Caruana announced that the town will receive a $544,700 federal grant to install solar panels on five town-owned buildings: the Highway and Police departments, the sewer maintenance facility and the water treatment and wastewater treatment plants.

In its application, the town also indicated it would replace various mechanical equipment with more energy-efficient models.

"This will help us reduce our dependency" on fossil fuels, Caruana said.

The grant is from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Energy Efficiency and Conservation block grant program. Grants pay 100 percent of the costs associated with efforts to reduce total energy use, improve energy efficiency and reduce fossil fuel emissions.

e-mail: jhabuda@buffnews.com

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