Pappas Gives Positive ‘State of the City’ Address in North Tonawanda

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By: Brendan McDonough

Reporter for North Tonawanda

In his annual State of the City address, Mayor Arthur Pappas said positive things are happening throughout North Tonawanda and that the City is “moving forward.”

“Many changes have taken place in the past year and there are many more projects in the works,” said Pappas. “We are working for more efficiencies and accountability in all city operations.”

Big changes will be coming to Deerwood Golf Course. Some of the improvements will include re-paving of cart paths and the ticket office area. Also on tap are renovations and repair of drainage and bunkers of the Fawn Course. Pappas said this is a lengthy process and will likely go on into 2020 before completion.

He also cited growth throughout all corners of the city including the Botanical Gardens where new plantings and other improvements are thanks to the newly formed Botanical Garden Organization and the Parks and Recreation Department.

“The Botanical Gardens will be ready for weddings and other events come spring,” said Pappas.

 

Mayor Art Pappas

 

Another garden that he talked about was the completion of the Children Memorial Garden. A brain child of Pappas, the park was unveiled in October of 2018 and is located across from City Hall in Brauer Park. It is a place where people can come, sit and memorialize children who have passed away. 

“This was all accomplished without the use of taxpayer dollars,” said Pappas.

A hallmark of Pappas’ speech was that 2018 was a year of growth in North Tonawanda. Pappas cited several key projects including four new businesses coming to Oliver Street and the expansion of Matt’s Music.

“2018 was a year of progress in a number of key development areas for our city while also laying the groundwork for many developments that we are looking forward to in 2019,” said Pappas.

New this year will be a lunch pass kiosk which will be installed at Gratwick Park before the boating season begins. Funding for this was donated by Bon Confer and Plastics. Pappas says the boat launch kiosks will be similar to the ones you see in Downtown Buffalo.

Sidewalk repair has been a hot topic in North Tonawanda and Pappas says fixing them will begin sometime in the spring. Money for the project is coming through grant funding.

 

 

 

In his address he also talked at length about the North Tonawanda’s wastewater department and the projects coming up.

“We received a $1.47 million New York State Water Infrastructure Improvement Grant for phase one of our Capital Improvement Plan, which will start in 2019,” said Pappas.

Also in 2019 the Water Filtration Plant will be replacing a broken backup generator and installation of new electrical equipment. Completion is expected in late 2019 or early 2020.  

For Pappas making sure the water in North Tonawanda is safe is a top priority not only for him but for the safety of residents.

“We will be getting Chlorine System upgrades. Essentially changing from pressurized to a vacuum system for safety reasons,” said Pappas. “This will help protect our employees and citizens in case of a chlorine cylinder leak. The cost to these upgrades is 6 million dollars.”

Growth on Webster Street was also something Pappas talked about.

“The former Murphy’s and North Tonawanda History Museum is presently being remodeled. The proposed use is a retail, commercial and residential use, including a SPOT Coffee,” said Pappas. “Prosper microbrewery remodeling is complete and will open shortly. A new business called “The Board Room” opened in November of 2018.”

Also being built on River Road is a $20 million project which includes six buildings totaling one-hundred apartments and a commercial building. Partial occupancy is expected by mid-March of 2019.

In closing Pappas said that it has been an honor and a privilege to serve as Mayor and that he will work to keep moving the City forward.

“I want to thank the department heads and city employees for their cooperation and effort during the past year,” said Pappas. “I would also like to thank members of the Common Council for their support in making the City stronger.”

 

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