Council Chambers

Tonawanda, New York

September 15, 2009


A Regular Meeting of the Common Council


Present Councilmembers:  Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

Excused:  Council President Zeisz


Pledge of Allegiance led by Councilmember Kossow


Prayer led by Councilmember Kossow


Public Hearing

Budget and

Capital Improvements Program


Robert Derner, 286 Niagara Shore Dr. – Is this public hearing on the proposed City budget? 


Councilmember Kossow – City, Water, Sewer and also the Capital Improvements budget.


Robert Derner – What is the proposed tax increase?


Councilmember Kossow – 2.49%.


Robert Derner – People on Social Security have got zero raise this year and there was no reason why anybody in public, any public budget should be increased.  If the seniors can’t get it, the public shouldn’t get it.  Now you’ve got salaries in this City around $7.7 million dollars.   You’ve got health insurance that you pay $3.3 million, and you pay $1.3 million for State retirement.  Now you’ve got almost 60%, or is it 70%, I forget, but a good share of this budget goes for salaries and retirement and there must be some way in there when you’ve got all that money that you can find some way of saving to not have any increase.  You got a Parks Department, they got a $47,000 increase in their budget this year.  Did you ever consider taking any City employees and cut the work hours from 8 hours to maybe 7 or 6 hours to save or maybe have garbage collection once every two weeks instead of every week.  There are a lot of ways you can save.  Another way, what about Niawanda Park.  At the Town of Tonawanda there’s Isle View and the county takes care of it.  Why does the City of Tonawanda have to pay the full freight for Niawanda Park.   A couple of weeks ago, I was reading the Amherst Bee.  You know what they advertise in there?  Bus tours to Niawanda Park so people can walk along the Riverwalk.  The entire county uses this park but Tonawanda picks up the entire tab.  Now I was at a meeting here and I was told that the City of Tonawanda has an average house value of $73,000.  If that’s so, then we’re a small community that their houses cannot support paying for everyone else to use the park.  If it was with the county, you would have it spread out amongst the entire county where you’ve got Amherst, Clarence, bigger homes are there and it wouldn’t be as much of an impact as it is on the City.  I just want to show you one thing.  This is a map that appears in the home finder every week.  It shows all the relative size of all the communities in Erie County.  Tonawanda is so small that they can’t even put the name on it.  It has to have their name and an arrow pointing to it.  Take a look at this and have everyone take a look at that.  Tonawanda is a hamlet. It’s not a City anymore.  It was a City when we first started but all the other communities have a bigger area and they have a bigger population than we do.  This City is trying to with the size it is, is trying to be a City but we can’t afford it anymore.  We should look into some possibility of taking and working with the Town of Tonawanda or some other area because we cannot afford to live here anymore because the taxes are much too high compared to the same priced houses in all our surrounding communities.  We’re at a big disadvantage so you should take a serious look at not having any increase in the budget. 


Councilmember Kossow - You make some good points.  I just want to point out with regards to the budget again, the Mayor provided us two specific lines that had a huge impact on the City budget were the pension increase, over $400,000 and health insurance went up almost $300,000.  Those two lines alone were an increase of over $700,000.  If the pension line were to stay the same and health insurance would have stayed relatively close, we’d be looking at almost a 5% decrease, I mean it would be a tax decrease of 5%, so those two lines had a huge impact on the budget. 


Robert Derner - That is true Mr. Kossow. I don’t deny that but you haven’t looked at cutting anything else.  Everything in your budget, almost everything increased.  There’s a few things that went down, but when you’ve got $7.7 million in salaries, there’s got to be somewhere you can cut them. 


Wayne Cameron, 192 Niagara Shore Dr. – I had a business in the Town of Tonawanda for some 35 years.  I went through hard times, good times and when I had bad times like we have today, I cut my budget, I had to do things with my costs to reduce my costs and keep my company going so that I could keep my employees working.  I’m proud of the fact that over 40 years, I never laid one person off of my business because of a down turn in business.  We managed, we cut hours, we moved people around, we did whatever we had to do.  This City is out of control.  You people have taken something that’s been beautiful in this City which is Niagara Shore Drive over here and you’ve made it a total disaster.  You’ve taken and raised our taxes by almost 100%.  Now the people that are sitting here might not realize this because if you have a $70,000 or $80,000 home and your taxes go up $400 or $500 it is not too bad.  But when they took and reassessed our values and doubled our assessments, right now we pay, I pay almost $12,000 a year on a 1400 square foot home.  If any of you people sitting up on that Council right now were paying $14,000, none of you do because I’ve checked everyone of your peoples assessments, if you were paying $12,000 a year you couldn’t live here either.  Now I’ve been trying to sell my home for almost $60,000 below the assessment and I can’t get anyone to come and even look at it.  What you’ve done is you’ve taken people over here, you have widows, you have a family over here, a man that has a wife with Alzheimer’s that’s trying to move out of that community and go into a home so they can have his wife taken care of and they can’t even sell their home.  They can’t get anyone to look at it.  Today I got a letter from a realtor saying that until the City does something about the assessment and outrageous taxes in your community, no homes will sell over on Niagara Shore Drive.  Now what you’ve done is taken things and we are paying, this community over here, are paying the bulk of it, a large bulk of the taxes in this community.  Now, I look at your budget, your budget’s going up.  I got a $12,000 tax bill and I’m gonna get an increase in taxes?  You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.  This City doesn’t belong as a City anymore.  It’s 3 miles that way and 3 miles that way.  It’s not even a City.  It’s a small community.  We have a couple paid firemen, that’s what you’re providing to all these people here, a couple paid firemen and we could be a town, we could be part of the Town of Tonawanda, we don’t even need you people up here.  We don’t need any representation.  We could be part of the Erie County.  There’s gotta be a better way than charging people $1,000 a month to live in the City.  I’m sorry that I’m upset, but I’m trying to sell my house so I can get out of here and go to Florida.  I can’t sell my house and it’s all because of your Assessor right here.  They have done something to these homes.  Anybody that got a double, if you would like to sit and have your taxes doubled, see how you’d feel about it.  I’m angry, I think it shows and I think you people should do something about it.  Either reducing the amount of money you’re spending here, get rid of some of these employees that we don’t need.  We don’t need a huge police force sitting out here with their radar guns, taking pictures of people so they can raise money for this community.  Get a smaller police force, get a smaller fire department, downsize, that’s what we have to do.  People are leaving here in droves and it’s gonna be smaller and smaller and smaller.  You see they’re downsizing all these other boards around Erie County. This board should be eliminated.  We should be part of the Town of Tonawanda. 


Mike Young, 252 Adam Street – I’m an Assistant Chief in the Fire Department and I would like to explain to people.  Sir, when I joined the Fire Department 19 years ago, there were 38 members.  There are 28 members in this department now.  We have over 2,800 calls a year and 90% of them are for seniors citizens like you sir. 


Wayne Cameron - Are they volunteers?


Mike Young - No, they’re not volunteers, we’re paid sir. That’s why we’re there in two minutes every time.  The same is true with the Police Department.  The Police Department probably had 40 members at one time, they have 28 or 27 members now.  They answer more calls and do more for this City than ever.  These people don’t understand how good they have it. 


Councilmember Kossow – And again, I just want to make a comment with regards to the City workforce.  One of the things I take pride in and I’m sure the rest of the Council does too, we haven’t laid anybody off in the City but we have reduced workforce in the City over time.  Department Heads have left, we eliminated their positions, probably about 15 positions just since the time I’ve been on the Council.  We had some retirements in the City Clerk’s Office, Treasure’s Office, we’ve eliminated secretarial positions.  We have wherever possible tried to reduce our workforce.  Can we do more?  We’re at a point now where either you have to either merge with a different municipality or you’re going to have to cut services.  So, it’s a situation where we either have to reduce it, reduce the services, and if we would reduce services, then we could reduce the workforce.  At this point, I’m not going to do that. 


Ed Gebera, 157 Brookside Terrace W. – You know the State is leading the charge.  They raised taxes 8.7%.  What’s the matter with the City complaining to help the City out. 


Councilmember Kossow - Our State aid, I know, Joe, is pretty flat.  We’re not budgeting any increase in State aid and as I said…


Ed Gebera - …everything is flat.  You know it.  I know it. 


Mayor Pilozzi – Let me say something here real quick.  Last December, I testified before our New York State Senate, a contingent made up of Senator Thompson and Senator Stachowski, and we talked about how New York State could help in the efforts to control costs at the City, Town, and Village level.  My recommendation centered around about three or four different issues. One of them was the establishment of Tier 5.  Tier 5, and I’m not going to spend a lot of time with pension systems, but the fact of the matter is, if they established Tier 5 that would start, you won’t see the result of it for many years down the road, but you’ve got to do something now because it is getting critical.  There’s no question about it.  When we get a bill of $401,000 on top of last year’s pension cost, 46% increase in one year.  Had we not done things during this year to control costs, namely, mostly in the insurance end of the business, I don’t know where we’d be.  My anticipation coming into this budget, and this budget is my budget, I submitted this budget to this Council, and to my knowledge, they haven’t taken a penny out of it.  Maybe because, through the efforts of Joe Hogenkamp, Sam Iraci and all the Department Heads sitting down, we gave them the bare bones, minimum type effort.  But the fact of the matter is, if you have the State that’s going down the tubes like it is today and unwilling to make the hard decisions that in reality cost you and me and every taxpayer in this State, in the untold amount of millions of dollars.  If it was $401,000 for the City of Tonawanda, can you imagine what it is across the State?  That’s just one issue.  It’s things like the Taylor Law.  We made a suggestion that…


Ed Gebera - …it’s the most illegal law I’ve ever heard of.


Mayor Pilozzi – Pardon me?


Ed Gebera – It’s the most illegal law I ever heard of. 


Mayor Pilozzi – I can’t say it’s illegal because I’m not an attorney, but when I negotiate a contract, and some people are in this room that I negotiated with, this is a very, very difficult thing.  But the fact of the matter is, if you take it to a certain point and it becomes what they call an impasse, it’s taken out of our hands, it goes to an arbitrator.  And there were some reasons for this many years ago, but the problem is, we can do things at the City level, and we have, I think Councilman Kossow pointed out some of those, but the fact of the matter is, we’ve got to get some cooperation from higher levels of government too to help us with that effort.  I fully intended in this budget, and you can talk to Sam Iraci, you can talk to the Department Heads, you can talk to Joe Hogenkamp, until we got that bill for the pension, we were anticipating a 2-3% decrease, but every $100,000 cost us pretty much about a 1% increase in your taxes.  So again, had we not done a thing with the insurances, some of the things working with the unions to control some of these costs, it would have been 7% to 8% maybe, I don’t know. 


Marshall Banks, 132 Niagara Shore Drive – I’ll just iterate what the gentleman stated.  My taxes are over $12,000 a year, $1,000 a month for what I own.  No mortgage, no nothing, but I can’t afford the $1,000 a month you people want.  I have to move.  That’s it.  I’ve lived in this City since 1957, probably I’ve lived here longer than most of your age, okay?  Always paid the taxes.  Now it’s at a point where you can’t pay it.  It’s impossible and I also know the Recreation Department has an increase of $47,000 or something like that, is that correct? That doesn’t matter, that’s just probably a figure, but what I’m saying is, down at the point where the Niagara River and Erie Canal is, all the benches are broken up.  They just destroy things, the kids do.  No one ever does anything.  The City comes and jackhammers out the concrete and that’s the end of it.  They won’t come and make any permanent repairs.  The garbage can is just one of the famous buckets you have all over the place. Nobody will use it because they’re so disease ridden, you’ve got to have something with a little “umpf” behind it, with an opening and maybe a plastic bag.  All the garbage when they dump it, it’s all over on the street, I mean nobody, it’s just like they don’t even care. They put up a brand new sign, that would be the Thruway Authority now I guess, well it’s all “graffitied” up already, they just did it this Spring.  We don’t see anybody.  I live on the corner there.  They smash all the benches at night.  Nobody ever looks at doing repairs or anything but you all raise my taxes.   Because I have waterfront property?  Which you say that I can’t go in the water.  It’s kinda come up and you keep mentioning the Taylor Law.  The Taylor Law has nothing to do with laying people off.  You can lay people off today.  The Taylor law has nothing to say about it.  In all of WNY, they are all laying off, so, maybe you should start thinking of something like that.  That’s it.


Robert Derner – I just want to say something on the sales tax.  You are down $70,000 this year.  For the past couple of weeks I have come through Webster Street in North Tonawanda and the place is jumping over there.  There are cars parked all over the place over there.  The downtown area looks like it is alive again.  Cross over the bridge and look at downtown Tonawanda and it is a ghost town down here.  There is a big difference.  I don’t know what you people are doing or not doing but they are thriving over there and we are dying in our downtown area.  That sales tax money is not coming in to the City.  That is one thing.  Another thing is…


Councilmember Kossow – …we get our sales tax figures from the County and that is what Joe estimates for the budget purposes, that is our share for the whole County. 


Robert Derner – I know but you have to have some retail here to get your amount up don’t you?  Right?  O.K.  Another thing that you might, I don’t know if you have done this or not but you pay over $500,000 for garbage collection.  Have you ever gotten bids to see what it would cost to outsource garbage collection? 


Mayor Pilozzi – Yes, but it was a wash between BFI and doing it ourselves. 


Robert Derner – What about pension?


Mayor Pilozzi – We included that in the study.  Let me say this, that was done around three years ago and we have already had discussions about maybe we should revisit it.


Robert Derner – It may be a good idea just to see what the numbers are because things change.  That might help out a lot.


Mayor Pilozzi – Excuse me, before I forget.  Just to set the record straight, there were three that we looked at and one was less.  I just can’t remember the name of it off the top of my head.  They had no track record and when we were looking at this we were saying to ourselves do we want to get on a horse that might die in the race? 


Robert Derner – That is understandable.

Mayor Pilozzi – Just so you know.  We were looking at reputable companies and I just can’t remember the name of it.  Even if I did I probably wouldn’t mention it because I probably would get sued. 


Robert Derner – We are at a crisis point here.  Assessments have been raised and taxes are being raised and we are just coming out of a recession, some people say, but in Tonawanda we have a recession.  One other thing as far as the State giving that extra $400,000, my IRA lost over 60%, is there any way to raise the taxes to increase my pension a little bit it would help, thank you. 


Wayne Cameron – I do have one question about that $400,000.  Is that $400,000 just to replenish the pensions because the stock market went down? 


Councilmember Kossow – Pretty much.


Wayne Cameron – Why in heaven do the State employees deserve treatment that Mr. Derner or myself or most other people that have anything in an IRA or live off of an IRA don’t get.  Why are we paying this?  Who proposed it?  We had nothing to say about this? 


City Treasurer Joe Hogenkamp – A huge part of it is they lost billions, ten’s of billions in their investment portfolio that they used and we are members of that system.  They lost States where the employers fund the pension for members of the State Retirement System. 


Wayne Cameron – The pension benefits are not based upon what is in the fund….


Joe Hogenkamp – As the Mayor said, the answer to reform, it would be to create a new tier for new employees but they cannot go back and water-down tiers for existing employees, that is just State law and that is part of the problem with the State law. The Mayor said you look at $400,000 for the City and we are doing our budget early.  Wait until the County is doing their budget, the State does their budget, it is going to be billions and the only way to close that hole is to create a new tier where the new employee coming on doesn’t have the same level of benefits.  Maybe it’s a defined benefit plan, maybe it’s not something that is entirely funded by an employer as a percentage of their salary. 


Robert Derner – Wouldn’t it be advisable to have Mr. Schimminger and Antoine Thompson come in to one of these meetings in front of all of these people here and have them answer to what they have done to screw the rest of us.


Joe Hogenkamp – When they have their town hall meetings these are the kind of things they need to be asked about.


Audience member – I don’t know anybody in the United States that is guaranteed a return on their investment forever.  This is absolutely ridiculous.


Councilmember Kossow – Joe, it is based on the number of years of service and their salary…


Joe Hogenkamp – With the Police and Fire it is more accelerated because they have 20 year and out.  It is not just the City of Tonawanda.


Marshall Banks – Twenty years and out is another problem. 


Joe Hogenkamp – Well, you have to think about it as an investment person as to how much more you are going to need to fund that to get the level of benefit up to where it is….it has to be fully funded.  Again, for a person who starts in their mid-twenties and is going to go out in their mid-forties, in those situations you are going to have to fund that a lot faster, a lot more aggressively than someone who has to work until they are 55 or 62.


Audience member – Then the secret is we should have a thirty or forty year retirement plan for the Police and public officials. 


Joe Hogenkamp – It used to be that way then they added tiers.  When they added a lot of the enhancements was when the stock market was going up and exploding on paper they had all kinds of money.  When I first started we had to pay 3%, they eliminated that.  After 10 years you don’t have to pay 3% anymore.  Then their investments tanked and they were left with a level of benefits that are now impacting local government budgets.


Audience member – Am I not correct also that these pensions that we are paying for and everything are not even subject to New York State income tax.


Joe Hogenkamp – That is right.


Councilmember Colleen Perkins – Don’t they pay tax on that money going in though?


Joe Hogenkamp – No.  The 3% contribution is taxable for State but not for Federal. 


Councilmember Kossow – Closed the public meeting on the budget.




A letter to the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, dated September 8, 2009, thanking them for including the asbestos removal at the old City of Tonawanda Water Works Plant in the CDBG Federal Stimulus Component in the amount of $100,000.


A letter from Professional Auction Services, dated August 31, 2009, regarding the sale of items on their website.

            Ordered filed




The following monthly reports were received by the City Clerk:

            July minutes of the Plumbing Board

August minutes of the Board of Appeals

            August monthly report of the Building Inspector

            August monthly report of the City Clerk

August Activity Report of the Fire Department

            August minutes of the Plumbing Board

General Fund Budget, Sewer Fund Budget Revenue and Expenditure Report for 

                        the City of Tonawanda as of September 15, 2009

                             Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                                 Ordered filed




Ed Gebera, 157 Brookside Terrace W. – We paid $50 for the totes and now you want to sell them for $25 because we have 500 too many.


Councilmember Kossow – We paid $50 for the bigger totes, this is for the smaller totes. 


Ed Gebera – So it is the smaller totes you are selling for $25?  O.K. Joe.


Joe Hogenkamp – This came up last week with the Superintendent of the Public Works when we met with him about his budget.  There was a real concern that a lot of the population in the City wouldn’t want the 90 gallon tote.  There is a 65 gallon tote and a 90 gallon tote.  Everyone decided we needed to have a lot of 65 gallon totes because the feed-back we are getting from a lot of our population is that tote is too big for them.  So we bought 7,000 90 gallon totes and 1,000 65 gallon totes.  We still have at least 500 of those 65 gallon totes because a lot of those people ended up saying “gee those 90 gallon totes are not too bad”.  You can maybe say it is poor planning but we chose to error on the side of having enough 65 gallon totes.  They are sitting in the water plant and especially if we get rid of the water plant.  He said we got to get rid of these things.  They aren’t doing us any good sitting in the water plant we might as well discount them and get the cash into the capital fund. 




170.     By Councilmember Waterhouse                              seconded by Councilmember Perkins

            Resolved, that the bills be allowed as audited and the City Clerk be authorized to draw warrants on the Treasurer for the various amounts.


Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


171.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Section 62-161, Schedule XI, of the Code of the City of Tonawanda, entitled “Trucks over certain weights excluded”, be amended to include the entire length of Young Street with a weight limit of 5 tons.


Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


172.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Section 62-193, Schedule XV, of the Code of the City of Tonawanda, entitled “No Standing” be amended to include no standing on the south side of State Street 100’ from Young Street.  


Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


173.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that Article V Section 62-196 Schedule XVIII of the Traffic Ordinance be amended to read as follows:

            Resolved, that the ordinance for the No Standing of Vehicles, from 4PM to 6PM on the west side of Delaware Street, from the south curb line of Fletcher Street, to the north curb line of Scott Street adopted March 17, 1992 is hereby rescinded.     


Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


174.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, a $25.00 application fee and application was received by the City Clerk from the Zonta Club of the Tonawandas, and

            Whereas, the application is being reviewed and commented on by all appropriate department heads to insure the safety and well being of our residents, now, therefore be it

            Resolved, that permission be granted to the Zonta Club of the Tonawandas, to hold Dancin’ in the Street IV, on Friday, September 18, 2009, from 5:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. and be it further

            Resolved, that one lane of Erie Street be closed for the safety of attendees and be it further

            Resolved, that a certificate of insurance naming the City as additional insured be presented to the City Clerk by September 17, 2009. 


Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted



175.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, a $25.00 application fee and application was received by the City Clerk from Buffalo Tour de Farms, and 

            Whereas, the application is being reviewed and commented on by all appropriate department heads to insure the safety and well being of our residents, now, therefore be it

            Resolved, that permission be granted to the Buffalo Tour de Farms, to hold Buffalo Tour de Farms on the bike path along the Niagara River and Niawanda Park, north on Niagara Street on Saturday, September 26, 2009, and be it further

            Resolved, that a certificate of insurance naming the City as additional insured be presented to the City Clerk by September 21, 2009. 


Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


176.     By Councilmember Kossow                                               seconded by Councilmember Davis

            Resolved, that the reading of the following resolution be waived.


Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


177.     By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council


AN AMENDING AND RESTATING BOND RESOLUTION, DATED SEPTEMBER 15, 2009, OF THE COMMON COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TONAWANDA, Erie county, NEW YORK (the “city”), AMENDING THE BOND RESOLUTION ADOPTED APRIL 21, 2009, AUTHORIZING THE ACQUISITION OF TRUCKS AND EQUIPMENT FOR USE BY THE CITY, at aN AGGREGATE maximum estimated cost not to exceed $370,000 and authorizing the issuance of serial bonds in an aggregate amount not to exceed $370,000 of the city, OFFSET BY ANY FEDERAL, STATE, COUNTY AND/OR LOCAL FUNDS RECEIVED, pursuant to the local finance law to finance said purpose, and delegating the power to issue bond ANTICIPATION notes in anticipation of the sale of such bonds to the city treasurer.

WHEREAS, on April 21, 2009 the Common Council of the City of Tonawanda, Erie County, New York (the “City”) adopted a bond resolution authorizing the acquisition of trucks and equipment for use by the City (collectively, the “Project”) in an aggregate amount not to exceed $287,000 (the “Bond Resolution”); and

WHEREAS, the Common Council now wishes to amend and restate the Bond Resolution due to an increase (from $242,000 to $325,000) in the cost of the sewer jet truck component of the Project, with the maximum amount of the entire Project being increased from $287,000 to $370,000.  


BE IT RESOLVED, by the Common Council (by the favorable vote of not less than two-thirds of all the members of the Council) as follows:

SECTION 1.            The specific purposes to be financed pursuant to this resolution are the acquisition of: 

                                (a)  a Department of Public Works two-wheel drive pickup truck ($15,000),

                                (b)  a Department of Public Works four-wheel drive pickup truck ($30,000), and

(c)          a sewer jet truck ($325,000)


all for use by the City, including necessary equipment, machinery, apparatus and warranties, and all preliminary costs and costs incidental thereto (collectively, the “Purpose”). The maximum cost of the Purpose will not exceed $370,000.

SECTION 2.  The Common Council plans to finance the maximum estimated cost of the Purpose by the issuance of serial bonds of the City in an amount not to exceed $370,000.  Such bonds, for such Purpose, in such amount, are hereby authorized to be issued therefore pursuant to the Local Finance Law, with such amount to be offset by any federal, state, county and/or local funds received.  The cost of such Purpose is to be paid by the levy and collection of taxes on all real property in the City, in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of such bonds and the interest thereon as the same shall become due and payable.

SECTION 3.  It is hereby determined that the period of probable usefulness for:

(a)  the two-wheel drive pickup truck is five years, pursuant to subdivision 28 of     paragraph (a) of Section 11.00 of the Local Finance Law,

(b)  the four-wheel drive pickup truck is ten years, pursuant to subdivision 28 of paragraph (a) of Section 11.00 of the Local Finance Law, and

(c)          the sewer jet truck is 15 years, pursuant to subdivision 28 of paragraph (a) of Section 11.00 of the Local Finance Law.


SECTION 4.  Current funds are not required to be provided prior to the issuance of the bonds authorized by this resolution or any notes issued in anticipation of the sale of such bonds.

SECTION 5.  It is hereby determined that the proposed maturity of a portion of the obligations authorized by this resolution will be in excess of five years.

SECTION 6.  The faith and credit of the City are hereby irrevocably pledged for the payment of the principal of and interest on such bonds as the same respectively become due and payable.  An annual appropriation shall be made in each year sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on such bonds becoming due and payable in such year.  There shall annually be levied on all the taxable real property of the City a tax sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on such bonds as the same become due and payable.

SECTION 7.  Subject to the provisions of this resolution and of the Local Finance Law, pursuant to the provisions of Section 30.00 relative to the authorization of the issuance of bond anticipation notes or the renewals of said notes and of Section 21.00, Section 50.00, Sections 56.00 to 60.00, Section 62.00 and Section 63.00 of the Local Finance Law, the powers and duties of the Common Council pertaining or incidental to the sale and issuance of the obligations herein authorized, including but not limited to authorizing bond anticipation notes and prescribing the terms, form and contents and details as to the sale and issuance of the bonds herein authorized and of any bond anticipation notes issued in anticipation of said bonds, and the renewals of said notes, are hereby delegated to the City Treasurer, the chief fiscal officer of the City.

SECTION 8.  The temporary use of available funds of the City, not immediately required for the purpose or purposes for which the same were borrowed, raised or otherwise created, is hereby re-affirmed pursuant to Section 165.10 of the Local Finance Law, for the purpose or purposes described in Section 1 of this resolution.  The City then reasonably expects to reimburse any such expenditures (to the extent made after the date hereof or within 60 days prior to the date of the Bond Resolution) with the proceeds of the bonds authorized by Section 2 of this resolution (or with the proceeds of any bond anticipation notes issued in anticipation of the sale of such bonds).  This resolution shall constitute the re-affirmation of the City’s “official intent” to reimburse the expenditures authorized by Section 2 hereof with such bond or note proceeds, as required by United States Treasury Regulations Section 1.150-2.

SECTION 9.  The City Treasurer is further authorized to take such actions and execute such documents as may be necessary to ensure the continued status of the interest on the bonds authorized by this resolution, and any notes issued in anticipation thereof, as excludable from gross income for federal income tax purposes pursuant to Section 103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) and to designate the bonds authorized by this resolution, and any notes issued in anticipation thereof as “qualified tax-exempt bonds” in accordance with Section 265(b)(3)(B)(i) of the Code.

SECTION 10.  The City Treasurer is further authorized to enter into a continuing disclosure agreement with the initial purchaser of the bonds or notes authorized by this resolution, containing provisions which are satisfactory to such purchaser in compliance with the provisions of Rule 15c2-12, promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

SECTION 11.  The City has determined that the Project will not have a significant effect on the environment and, therefore, no other determination or procedures under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”) are required.

SECTION 12.  The validity of said serial bonds or of any bond anticipation notes issued in anticipation of the sale of said serial bonds may be contested only if:

(1)         (a)  Such obligations are authorized for an object or purpose for which said City is not authorized to expend money, or

(b)   The provisions of law which should be complied with at the date of publication of this resolution are not substantially complied with,

and an action, suit or proceeding contesting such validity is commenced within twenty days after the date of such publication; or

(2)         Said obligations are authorized in violation of the provisions of the Constitution of New York.

SECTION 13.  The City Clerk is hereby authorized and directed to publish this resolution, or a summary thereof, together with a notice in substantially the form provided by Section 81.00 of said Local Finance Law, in a newspaper having a general circulation in said City and hereby designated as the official newspaper of said City for such publication.

SECTION 14.  This resolution shall take effect immediately.

SECTION 15.  The Common Council further states that nothing in this amending and restating bond resolution shall affect the validity of the original Bond Resolution or any action taken thereunder and any said actions are hereby ratified and hereby reaffirmed in this amending and restating bond resolution.

Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


178.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that effective January 1, 2010, the sewer user rate is increased from $3.53 to $3.71 per 1,000 gallons.  The minimum annual charge (7,000 gallons quarterly or 28,000 gallons annually) increases from $98.84 to $103.88.  Effective January 1, 2011 the sewer rate is increased from $3.71 per 1,000 gallons to $3.90 per 1,000 gallons. The minimum annual charge (7,000 gallons quarterly or 28,000 gallons annually) increases from $103.88 to $109.20.


Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted





179.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that this Common Council adopt the General Fund Budget, Water Fund Budget and Sewer Fund Budget for the fiscal year commencing January 1, 2010, making appropriations for the conduct of City Government and further be it

            Resolved, that the Budget was presented at a Public Hearing on September 15, 2009, are hereby adopted as amended and revised and that the several amounts as set forth be and hereby are appropriated for the objects and purposes specified in the year 2010 budget on file in the Office of the City Clerk.


Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


180.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that the City of Tonawanda Common Council adopt the Five Year Capital Program for the period January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2014, and further be it

            Resolved, that the Capital Program lists all capital improvements which are proposed to be undertaken during the five fiscal years next ensuing and further be it

            Resolved, that the Five Year Capital program that was presented to the Common Council on August 1, 2009, and was available for inspection in the Office of the City Clerk from that time until this evening is hereby adopted.


Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted



181.     By Councilmember Davis                                        seconded by Councilmember Perkins

                        Resolved, that the reading of the next four resolutions be waived.


Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


182.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

Whereas, on December 4th, 2007, the Common Council authorized the Chief of Police to utilize the proceeds from the sale of specific City of Tonawanda property that was used by the Underwater Squad to reorganize the unit with formal approval of the Common Council,

Resolved, that the Chief of Police be authorized to purchase storage cabinets from Technocraft in the amount of $1,630.24, water rescue ropes and harnesses from Dive Rescue International in the amount of $611.99, diving equipment from Dip N Dive in the amount of $175.00, as well as the expenditure of $1,200.00 for eight members of the Underwater Squad to attend the Onondaga County Fall Training Course from the Underwater Squad Reorganization Funds that were realized from the sale of City of Tonawanda Underwater Squad Equipment in 2007.


Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


183.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Whereas, the process for the adoption of Local Law No. 3 for the year 2009 entitled:  “Exemption of Capital Improvements to Residential Buildings” was inadvertently compromised; and

            Whereas, it has been determined that the following resolution #13 would have been placed on the Agenda for July 28th, 2009, however, it inadvertently was not placed on the Agenda; now, therefore be it

            Resolved, that said Resolution is now placed on today’s Agenda for action by the Common Council; and be it further

            Resolved, that upon its enactment, the Resolution and Local Law No. 3 for 2009 shall have the same force and effect as if it had been enacted on July 28th, 2009; and be it further

            Resolved, that the Resolution regarding the publication of Local Law No. 3 which was passed on July 28, 2009, and the subsequent Public Hearing which occurred on August 4, 2009, are hereby ratified and confirmed.


Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


184.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Whereas, Local Law No. 3 for the year 2009 for the City of Tonawanda, entitled:


“Exemption of Capital Improvements to Residential Buildings”


was unanimously introduced by the Common Council on July 7, 2009, and laid upon each Council Member’s desk for seven days, excluding Sunday; and

            Whereas, proposed Local Law No. 3 for the year 2009 has been reviewed and deliberated upon by the Common Council; now, therefore be it

            Resolved, that the Common Council hereby approves and enacts Local Law No. 3 for the year 2009, a copy of which is on file in the office of the City Clerk.


Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


185.     By the Council                                                  seconded by the Council

            Whereas, the City previously purchased approximately 500 65-gallon garbage totes; and

            Whereas, the City has now determined that these totes are “Surplus”; now, therefore be it

Resolved, that the City shall now offer these 65-gallon garbage totes to the public at a cost of $25.00 each.


Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted




Mark Saltarelli, 138 Klinger – The reason for my appearance tonight is that as you know, we resurrected the City Officials Outing and I’m here to thank personally some of the departments that assisted us in doing that.  It turned out to be a very well attended outing because it hasn’t been around for a little over ten years.  I’ll start with the Mayor’s Office and thank Mayor Pilozzi for bringing the Department Heads together to initiate this back earlier in the year and from that, we received some ideas and some donations and I’d like to thank Jan Bodie’s office and all her staff for collecting the tickets and keeping track of things, Mr. Hogenkamp for re-opening the account and taking care of some of the funds, and of course, my two co-chairmen, Lt. Tim Stuart and Lt. Bill Strassburg and the Police Department for manning the booth all day.  We raised over $4,000 and Mayor Pilozzi donated a television and the proceeds from that went to the Tonawanda Youth Court, which I’m thankful for because that is dear to my heart, and the rest of the money is going to be distributed to the community, the youth services, and various other departments.  So thanks for all who attended, it turned out to be a great affair, and we’re hoping to double it next year.  Second, I didn’t realize that this was a budget hearing, but I have made a suggestion in the past to the Council. I would ask that maybe this Council consider it.  The Police Department did a survey.  Over 80% of the people that go to Niawanda Park are from outside this community.  There are parking machines that they use in the City of Buffalo.  I would suggest to this Council that they pass a parking ordinance.  Do you realize the revenue that could be generated from people that park in Niawanda Park and in the streets surrounding.  You don’t have to, the residents here could get a parking permit exemption but I suggested it in the past and I’m suggesting it again.  We shouldn’t look at all these cutting things.  There’s revenue sources that need to be tapped and that’s a good revenue source and I would make that suggestion to you to consider that.  Again, those machines will pay for themselves.   All you’ve got to do is cap an all day parking pass of $5.00.  They stick their credit cards in the machines, they stick their five-dollar bills in the machines and it’s a great revenue source. And certainly, I realize that some of the things said, we have to worry about the businesses.  The Berrafatos we all know, own all businesses on Niagara Street.  They’ve got private parking lots.  I’m not gonna shed any tears over them.  It costs as much to eat there as Salvatores, so as far as I’m concerned, I think that we need to take a hard look at that. I had no intention of even bringing that up tonight except that it’s a budget hearing and I do own a significant amount of property in the City too, so I am concerned about taxes and I realize the job that you all have and I appreciate that.  It’s not mainly coming from you.  A lot of it is placed on you by our wonderful State government.  I appreciate the work you do but I also think you need to consider raising some of our own revenue, much like the Town does with their golf courses.  This is what we have right here, this is our jewel, this is what we need to take advantage of.  Simply saying merging with the Town, knowing the laws as I do, there’s no advantage to merging with the Town, okay?  The City receives aid that Towns do not, we are mandated to do things that Towns do not.  At the same time, some of our employees are paid by the State of New York, whereas if we merge with the Town, the taxpayers here would have to pay for those services. Just a suggestion.  Thank you for your time. 


Councilmember Kossow – Thank you Mr. Saltarelli for your comments.  Also, I’d like to thank you for your efforts in resurrecting the City Officials event and I know you had mentioned once before, I was in Ohio a couple months ago and their downtown area had not the old individual parking meters but they had like one little unit that serviced a long street and basically just had to go there and like you said, put your money in, get a sticker and put it in your window.  So that is something we’ll have to look at.   




Councilmember Perkins – I would like to let Mr. Saltarelli know that we have been discussing that the past couple of meetings and Mr. Kossow said downtown Buffalo, they have those machines as well and our big concern is making sure that City residents have full access, they have primary access to the parks, but I also know in Hamburg too, that outside residents have to pay a fee to go to the Hamburg beach, so thank you very much for your support. 


Councilmember Waterhouse – A couple things I’d like to state on the budget.  I think people that know me, know I’m a steel worker, I work in one of the few factories here in the City of Tonawanda.  Our plant has been on four days since May.  It’s very hard for me to come up here and accept a budget that has an increase in economic times like today.  It’s not just the seniors, it affects everyone and I know it’s harder for people with a fixed income or people that have reduced income, or people that are unemployed now. The unemployment rate of almost 10%, it’s very hard to sit up here and bring the people a budget increase.  Believe me, we know that.  We tried going through things, trying to be creative.  We have a short period of time to do a budget.  We were talking about some revenue issues but we can’t get those in place in time for this year’s budget.  Maybe next year we could, but we’re also hand cuffed by the State and as I hear Mr. Derner said, they’re sticking it up your butt, well it goes up our butt too, we pay the taxes too and remember the City of Tonawanda is split right in half.  We have two State Senators. Senator Thompson who takes care of the 3rd and 4th Ward will have town hall meetings and he gets together with the people in that ward.  The gentleman that won the election for the 1st and 2nd Ward doesn’t even want to know anything about the City of Tonawanda.  When he first won his election, we tried to send him a letter of congratulations and letting him know that we were here and that we wanted to talk to him and Jan Bodie will verify, we couldn’t even find his address to get a hold of this man.  He’s never returned a phone call, he’s very hard to get, he could care less about us but that’s a huge battle that the people up here can’t do by themselves.  We need help from everyone to get to your State officials and complain to them.  As far as the issues on Main Street were concerned, at a lot of meetings we had our downtown merchants come through here and they tell things they’re trying to do to improve.  We have a Winter Walk coming up in October, we have the Thursday night concerts that were bringing the people, people are trying stuff and it’s a group effort and downtown merchants, I can’t say enough, they’re really trying stuff.  Not everything is working but I give them credit for trying.  When it comes to payroll, when I first got on the Council two years ago and we went through our first budget, I was just kind of in awe what we pay in salaries.  It’s a lot of money.   But then you sit here and you live in the City of Tonawanda and you listen to the stories that come out.  The Police Department, in the past year, I’ve had to call the police twice for 9-1-1 issues because there was a fight outside my house.  They were there within seconds to break up the fights and one gentleman went out in an ambulance, our Fire Department was there in a heartbeat.  If we had to wait for the County to send a sheriff in or something, this would be devastating times.  You need the police, you need their presence.  The Fire Department, it wasn’t that long ago there was a child in distress in the 4th Ward and an off-duty fireman was one of the first people over there and saved that baby’s life.  Everybody couldn’t say enough about that and now it comes time for budget and we talk salaries, sometimes we forget these things.  Well I live on Main Street, I see these gentlemen going up and down the street constantly and you said something, over 2,000 calls, it’s amazing and the Senior Towers are in my ward too so I’m well aware of what this costs but I’m stating right now, for the record, I will never vote to cut any more police or fire.  Those are essential services when you live in a City like this.  Thank you very much.


Councilmember Davis – In our packets tonight, the EPA released some information, they had walked through the Tonawanda Coke facility back in the middle of April and they’ll be releasing their studies as far as Tonawanda Coke compliance with EPA standards at their facility and also they’ll be implementing the, for lack of a better term, water washing of the exhaust that’s coming out of the smoke stacks and we’ll be sure to share all of that information with the general public as soon as that becomes apparent.  Slight comment on Mr. Saltarelli, four years ago when I first ran for Council, I was dead set against people paying to park at Niawanda but I think we’re at the point now where we need to do something because we see bus loads of kids coming in from Buffalo or coming in from Orchard Park.  We see riff-raff that’s coming into Veterans Park.  I know the Town of Clarence has made it off limits to their park for only Town residents.  It’s something we might have to take a look at for Veteran’s Park or even Niawanda, I mean, yes it’s a jewel, but if we have people going down there and disrupting City property that’s turning around and costing us money, giving us a bad image here in the City then it’s something that needs to be addressed but I’d just like to revert on what I said four years ago when I disagreed with Mr. Salatarelli on the parking issue, I think it needs to be resolved pretty quick.  With that in mind, I’d like to thank Mr. Saltarelli and anybody else that had something to do with the City Officials outing.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend due to work commitments and from what I understand and what Mr. Saltarelli said that it was a pretty successful event and all the monies are going to go toward some very worthwhile causes, youth organizations here in the City.  I’d just like to send my very best to Ron’s father who had surgery today.  Last, any democrats who served as independents or working families members in the audience, please exercise your right to vote today, regardless of who you’re voting for, many wars have been fought and many lives have been lost in order to give us the freedom that we enjoy in this country and it would be a shame if we didn’t use it.    


Mayor Pilozzi – A lot of things have been said tonight, some out of anguish and concern, some good comments, some good ideas.  Let me say this, it’s been a long day for me, I spent most of it at the hospital today and I thank Councilman Davis for his comments, but the fact of the matter is, I come to this job everyday trying to seek out and find ways to make Tonawanda better and sometimes that means trying to save money for this community.  When we did that with insurance, I truly felt that I was going to be able to present to this Council a tax decrease.  That didn’t happen and believe me, that doesn’t make me happy.  I know it doesn’t make anybody happy. Let’s switch gears here for a minute.  One of the recommendations that was talked about tonight was a user fee.  Basically, that’s what it is, a user fee.  Somebody’s coming from outside of the City of Tonawanda using our park, that we pay the taxes for to maintain.  On the other side, that gentleman sitting in the back of the room, has already been in contact with the City of Buffalo to take a look at, I’m sorry, Sam, what’s the gentleman’s name that runs that system in Buffalo?


Sam Iraci – (inaudible, did not use microphone)


Mayor Pilozzi – He’s been contacted already.  I have to apologize, it’s been on the back burner for maybe a month but budget time is always a very hectic time for the Mayor and the Council because we concentrate, focus on the budget but I can guarantee you this, it seems to me that we’ve reached that point that we need to, and Councilman Davis mentioned a turn around in his thinking, between that type of activity and any other type of user fee, I know we raised the cost of tickets that we issue from our Police Department last year, that helps a little bit, but user fees and any time we can go back to the public for a use of City facilities is always a plus.  So that’s one of things I’ll be concentrating on going forward.  I thank everybody for coming tonight and I thank you for your comments, and I understand the anguish and frustration, I truly do.  I know how bad the (inaudible) was on Mr. Cameron and Mr. Banks and Mr. Derner, as most of us have, it’s not easy and if you look at the overall structure of the reassessment activity and that program, about 1/3 of this community had a tax decrease, about 1/3 pretty much stayed the same, but another 1/3 went up and if you look at the situation at Riveredge, where these folks are from, it was a big impact there. One of the reasons why we went to an outside source was to pull politics out of it.  Nobody on this Council, including myself got involved with trying to change anything for anybody.  We had an outside professional source, made up of real estate professionals to take a look at that.  Obviously, you’re not happy with that and I can’t blame you, I would probably feel the same way but I think you probably got caught up in the fact that being relatively new part of the community compared to the rest of our community you got caught up in a time warp so-to-speak where you are the new kids on the block…


Wayne Cameron – …12 years


Mayor Pilozzi - ….at any rate it is what it is and that is what the professionals gave us. I’ll end my comments there and thank you all for coming tonight.


Audience member – Is there any update on the water department?


Mayor Pilozzi – Are you talking about the water plant? 


Audience member – Yes.


Mayor Pilozzi – We just received a $100,000 grant from Erie County DEC that we are going to be using towards that project.  As soon as we get Spaulding Fibre, and it is quickly getting to the point where we are going to be able to switch a lot of focus and attention to the water plant.  I think you are going to see some action there, I am going to guesstimate in the next six months or so.


Audience member – Are you going to take it down?


Mayor Pilozzi – Our intention, unless anybody else on the Council sees it differently, is to take it down. 


Councilmember Kossow – My final comments, I just want to make several comments.  One of the things, I heard one up here and the Mayor and we all rustle with the budget every year, it’s something we don’t take lightly.  The Mayor and Joe and Sam, they did an excellent job getting to the point where we were, but there are and again, there are some positives that are happening, that have happened in the City.  I mean you take a look at buildings that were vacant, going back to the Grant Building that stood vacant for a long period of time, they’ve got a thriving business in there, they put a million dollars into that building.  We have the gentleman that bought the Armory when the State shut that down, the guy put like a million dollars into the Armory, or at least a half a million, they put a lot of money into that facility, I mean you have the Hygrade place on Main Street, they pulled out, we got Leisure Living, not only that, they bought the property across the street.  If you go by it, I’m sure you’ve seen all the improvements that they’ve done on that property.  So there are some positives that are happening, we’re trying and the Mayor, trying to bring businesses into the community.  What we’ve accomplished at Spaulding Fibre in the few short years.  We’ve taken a facility at big as it was and we’ve done a lot, we’ve gotten a lot of funding from a lot of different sources, Federal State, but to see where we were four, five years ago in that complex and see what’s left and by the end of probably October everything above ground will be down, I mean, that’s 46 acres here in the City, I mean, again is it going to happen overnight, no, it doesn’t but you know we are doing everything possible that we can.  Again, as I said with regards to layoffs, I wouldn’t support any layoffs.  As we have people that retire, will I and the rest of this Council look at consolidating services or departments or where we can save, we’ll definitely take a look at it.  It’s a difficult situation.  I think there are some positive things that are happening in the City and I think we should look forward to.  Also we have the Fall Fest coming up this weekend, another great event for the City, there’s a lot of City workers involved, they’re doing it all volunteer so I mean, it’s a great event for families, very inexpensive, it’s a great way to spend a Fall afternoon and so as Councilman Waterhouse pointed out, we have in the Fall, they have the event on Main Street so that will be coming up.  I’m sorry, not this weekend, the 26th.  There’s a big sign out front that will be lit up so I apologize. 


Robert Derner – I’d like to respond to the Mayor when he said that you hired outside help for this assessment and the problem was that this entire Council, everyone tried to keep hands off the assessment, but when you got such a dramatic change in the assessment, you have to be involved.  These people are your constituents, you don’t just walk away and say, let the process take its course.  That doesn’t solve anything because the City spends up to I think it was August 18, $12,500 and they’re paying the lawyer $233.00 an hour to argue this assessment and all it would have taken was somebody from this Council to sit down and talk and see how ridiculous it is.  Ron, supposing Central School was abandoned and left in disrepair like the water department is and the City came along and increased your taxes nine or ten thousand dollars, I think you’d be upset too and that’s what’s happened over at Riveredge and the point is, all this money paying for lawyers that wasn’t needed, all you have to do was sit down and talk to people just like I’m talking to you now, we could sit down, even if we argue a little bit, we could come to some conclusion without paying money to lawyers that drive Lexus and we’re driving Fords and Chevys.  Thank you. 




186.     By Councilmember Perkins                                     seconded by Councilmember Davis

            Resolved, that this Common Council adjourn until, October 6, 2009.  


Ayes: Perkins, Waterhouse, Kossow, Davis

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted






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