A question about the September 22 Council meeting: Why does the Fire Department have to hire its own grant writer? Isn't that what Lumber City Development Corp. does? Write grant proposals and solicit funds for NT?
Doesn’t LCDC do that for anything the City actually needs? Is their sole purpose to find ways to benefit the chosen few or to fund surveys on pie-in-the-sky or irrelevant projects?
Why aren't LCDC employees qualified to do FEMA grants? Why aren't they finding grants to repair our streets properly and to deal with long-term infrastructure needs?
If LCDC’s only purposes for existence are to obtain grants for studies about things we don’t really need, to find ways to help the wealthier developers and businesses get wealthier, and to fix up the outsides of some of NT’s worst residential and former business properties, why did NT eliminate its own grant writer when LCDC was created? Why hasn’t that role been filled in the last decade?
Since Alderman-at-large Robert Pecoraro is so excited about the prospect of his home being in a future historic district, perhaps he can find out why the Niagara Power station on Robinson Street, Sweeney Cemetery on Payne Avenue, St. Peter's Lutheran Cemetery on Walck Road, Memorial Pool, and even City Hall haven’t been designated by that Historic Preservation Commission as local landmarks or historic sites. NT owns the last four. Although that status didn’t help the historic Louis Eggert-designed Elks Lodge building and it hasn’t eliminated the awful pink color added to the Louis Eggert-designed Evening News building on Webster, aren’t such designations of actual historic properties important? The 1926 Eggert-designed high school building on Payne Avenue will be the next one lost in a city that only cares about the history of its buildings when they can make money for the favored few.
New York State is starting to realize they have a relic in the Erie Canal that they have encouraged communities across the State to invest heavily in promoting. How much better for residents was our old Pinochle Park along Sweeney Street than the cold concrete with no shade Gateway Park.
How much does North Tonawanda’s “investment” in Gateway Park total now, including grants of funding from other levels of government that we pay taxes into as well as local money? How much City employee labor went into it?
How many of those boaters who Mayor Burgio insisted would become the replacement for the industry we had lost in recent decades actually come each year? What do we receive from them? What do we pay out to have them here?
How much better off the residents would be if all of that money had gone into properly repairing the City’s infrastructure instead of that awful concrete park!
How much better we’d have been if Sweeney Street still went through between Main and Webster. At the time Mayor Burgio must have wanted extra parking for his Sweeney Building. That’s the only reason why closing off Sweeney Street there made sense then except when downtown gets closed for too many noisy and annoying festivals and concerts and car shows.
When will someone in City Hall take seriously the need to remedy the late night “noise” emanating from Crazy Jake’s at all hours? Are residents in the southwest portion of NT not important enough to deserve a good night’s sleep?
Is it just a merry coincidence that Joseph Fonzi, an engineer with Parsons Brinckerhoff, is on the Board of Directors of LCDC and also on the Historic Preservation Commission, the Environmental Committee, and another merry coincidence that the biggest beneficiary of the façade fix up funding on Oliver Street is Paul Brown, a member of the Planning Commission?
Why have LCDC’s and the Historic Preservation Commission’s largest beneficiaries have been the former Mayor who started both during his administration and his good friends.
Land and buildings have become toys in the sandbox known as North Tonawanda for a select few who have become adept at using the system for their personal benefit.
Why aren't our five Council members and Mayor asking the same questions?
Citizens should be educated by those in power to be able to knowledgeably provide the input it is their right and responsibility to provide on public projects. Enlightened citizens often have a better idea of what to do about public projects than the elected officials do. That principle of civics has been lost on City officials in NT for some time.