North Tonawanda to Receive $73,000 for Community Improvements

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By: Brendan McDonough

Reporter for North Tonawanda

Inside North Tonawanda City Hall 8th District Legislator Rich Andres alongside Mike Zimmerman, the Cities Director of Community Development, announced a $73,000 initiative to benefit residents. The money, which will be coming from community development block grant funding, is going to be used for two specific purposes.

“Some of the things that we came up with while working alongside the Common Council is that we have put together a list of priority projects that we want to get done,” said Andres. “The first would be sidewalk improvements. I don’t know if you have ever walked down by Crazy Jakes, but the sidewalks are crumbling and some of them need to be dealt with.”

Zimmerman says over the summer they put together a map of what some of the worst sidewalks that need to be dealt with.

But it’s not sidewalks that Alderman-At-Large Bob Pecoraro wants. He wants Wi-Fi.

“I was thinking what is really needed in the downtown area is Wi-Fi,” said Pecoraro. “That to me is a priority that we get connected. Especially when people are coming off their boats in the summer time and going shopping.”

Andres says that is a priority as well as improving part of Oliver Street.

“What we don’t have is trees and that has been sort of a pet project of mine for years,” said Andres.

The area they are looking at putting in some trees is around Wheatfield and Sommer Street.

“There are no street trees,” said Zimmerman. “It’s pretty barren and very unattractive.”

Andres says he hopes adding greenspace to parts of Oliver Street will not only help to make to the area look better but help improve economic development.

“It’s been a long-standing interest of mine to improve Oliver Street. It has old buildings and a certain amount of charm but what it is missing is that green factor. It is missing that nice sort of homey feel and I think that is because it is so barren,” said Andres.

Members of the Common Council say they expect to start the projects sometime in the spring.

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