A careful balance of challenges and accomplishments was maintained Friday as Tonawanda Town Supervisor Anthony F. Caruana delivered his State of the Town address.
Caruana spoke at a luncheon meeting of the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Chamber of Commerce. He dedicated his message to his father, Dominic, and mother-in-law, Jane Gilcrist, both of whom died in January.
"As the town increases with age, the requirements to maintain it increase also," Caruana said, noting the aging housing stock and infrastructure. "The economic climate . . . is challenging, to say the least."
"But with these major problems there's also great opportunity to meet these challenges and do something about them," Caruana said.
"Despite the depressed economy, 2009, I am happy to say, was a good year overall for our town, and I am somewhat optimistic about 2010," the supervisor said.
Among the 2009 highlights:
The return of a canine unit to the Police Department, partnering Officer Brent Costello with "Tank," a German shepherd trained in suspect location and apprehension, narcotics detection and building searches.
The Community Development Department assisted the Village of Kenmore in the $1.7 million reconstruction of Lincoln Boulevard, between Elmwood and Delaware Avenues.
The August dedication of Veterans Memorial in Kenney Field, which is so popular that an expansion is planned.
The town continues to face significant issues, Caruana said, such as nuclear wastes in the Seaway and town landfills, and air quality concerns in neighborhoods close to industrial areas.
But he wrapped up his adsdress with more good news and hope for the future, including the development of affordable housing for seniors who want to continue living in the town.
He also noted the Village of Kenmore's designation, by a national planning organization, as one of the country's 10 "Great Neighborhoods" and Business
Week magazine's designation of the town as the best place in the state to raise children.