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Work to start on road to the 'Mudflats'

Work finally will begin on building a road that will open up 92 acres for development along the Town of Tonawanda's northern border.

Monday night, the Tonawanda Town Board adopted a $400,000 bond resolution to pay preliminary costs for the access road to North Youngmann Commerce Center.

The approval is subject to a permissive referendum, meaning residents have 30 days to gather enough petition signatures to force a public vote.

"This is very important news -- the start of something very important," said Councilman Joseph H. Emminger, who presided over Monday's meeting in his role as deputy supervisor.

The site, known historically as the "Mudflats," once hosted municipal waste-burning incinerators. Its current topography is the result of soil removal for use in building the Youngmann Memorial Highway in the 1960s.

"There's a lot of acreage that's shovel-ready," said Michael J. Kaiser, director of the Technical Support Department.

The town has more than $2.5 million saved for the work. The $400,000 bond would be applied toward administration, design and engineering costs.

"This has been on the burner for years and years," added Councilman John A. Bargnesi Jr., chairman of the Town Board's Economic Development Committee. "I think we will see some really positive development on those [92] acres."

The road will connect Two Mile Creek Road with East Park Drive.

Like at the nearby town landfill, wastes generated by nuclear weapons research have been detected at the Mudflats. But the low levels didn't require action, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decided in the fall of 2008.

The road should be completed by November 2014, officials said.

In other business Monday, the board voted to seek bids for the installation of restrooms at Sheridan Park's Expressway Diamonds. The estimated cost of the project is $110,000; a grant secured in 2009 by Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, D-Kenmore, will contribute $60,000.