Council Chambers

Tonawanda, New York

January 19, 2010


A Regular Meeting of the Common Council


Present:  Council President Zeisz

Present Councilmembers:  Gilbert, Slisz, Poole

Excused: Councilmember Boyle


Pledge of Allegiance led by Council President Zeisz


Prayer led by Council President Zeisz




Captain John Graff

Firefighter Joseph Briggs


Mayor Pilozzi – If I may, Council President Zeisz, I obviously as the Mayor I was taken back by the level of dedication and commitment and professionalism these two individuals portrayed in a very, very serious situation.  There’s some people living tonight that are probably very thankful for the fact that they did what they did, but that’s what you expect in the City of Tonawanda from our Fire Department and first responders and I thank each and every one of you, especially Firefighter Briggs and Captain Graff, again, for their level of commitment, their dedication, and their professionalism to this public safety of the City and residents of Tonawanda.  Thank you on behalf of myself and the Common Council, I don’t know if anyone else might want to say anything.   


Council President Zeisz – I would just like to say Firefighter Briggs and Captain Graff, obviously I commend you for your efforts too for two of our residents, but I’m not the least bit surprised.  In the years that I’ve been here, the effort that has been put forth by the Fire Department have always impressed me and the promptness, the willingness to do whatever it takes and I just want to thank you and the entire department for their efforts on behalf of all of us.   I thank the Chief, you thanked us, but I should be thanking you for bringing it to a public forum, to acknowledge them in front of all the people that they protect and I thank you for that.  




A letter to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency dated January 6, 2010, regarding a letter of support for the proposed OMFS Properties LLC project to be located at 711 Young Street in Tonawanda.


A letter to Mary Lou Mattioli, 130 Broad Street, reappoint her to the Community Development Agency, term to expire December 31, 2013.


A letter to James Holler, 157 Elmwood Park W., reappointing him to the Library Board, term to expire December 31, 2014.


A letter from the Erie County, dated January 5, 2010, informing the City that they have been approved for $52,500 for Gibson Street pavement milling, overlay and sidewalk replacement and they have not been approved for Cleveland Avenue and Moyle Avenue improvements.


The Quarterly Report from the County of Erie Department of Environment and Planning

            Ordered filed








The following monthly reports were received by the City Clerk:

            November Activity Report of the Fire Department

            December minutes of the Plumbing Board

                        Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                            Ordered filed


A letter from City Attorney Ronald C. Trabucco dated December 30, 2009, reappointing David G. Jay, Esq. As Deputy City Attorney effective January 1, 2010.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole


A Notice of Public Hearing from the Board of Appeals to be held on January 25, 2010 at 6:30 P.M. in the Community Room at City Hall, regarding a variance request “to be allowed to convert the existing first floor area facing Main Street into an apartment.  The existing lot does not meet the current lot width and lot area requirements for an additional dwelling unit” at 102 Main Street.

            Referred to the Committee of the Whole

                        Ordered filed




20.       By Councilmember Slisz                                         seconded by Council President Zeisz

            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: Gilbert, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


21.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

Resolved, that the Mayor has determined that the following list of City of Tonawanda non- union department heads, other management employees, full time, part time, temporary and seasonal positions shall be granted the salary compensation as identified below for the City of Tonawanda fiscal year 2010, and further be it

Resolved, that the Common Council confirms that funds are available in the City of Tonawanda 2010 fiscal year budget to support said salary compensation including any increases, and further be it

Resolved that said wages become effective on and retroactive to January 1, 2010 and that said list of positions and their corresponding wages shall be incorporated in Section 2.01 of the City of Tonawanda Personnel Benefits and Policy Manual.


Section 2.01

                        POSITION                                                     WAGES

                                                     Group 1         


            A.            Common Council Members                                  $7,000 ***

                        President of Common Council             $9,000 *


            B.            City Attorney                                                           $39,500 *

                        City Treasurer                                                          $65,000 *

                        Mayor                                                              $32,000 **


                                                                Group 2


                        Administrative Assistant                                                          $63,578

Assessor                                                 $51,987

            Building Inspector                                             $55,633

            City Clerk/Clerk Typist                           $30,723

            City Engineer                                                           $80,000

Fire Chief                                                    $80,057

            Police Chief                                                    $92,336 ****

            Public Works Superintendent                         $80,057

            Assistant Public Works Superintendent               $62,827/$30.21 per hr.       

Recreation Director                                               $69,411                                 

            City Clerk Stipend                                     $21,730


*   City Attorney, Treasurer and Council President (no increase, salary set by Council resolution on 5/1/07 for four year elected term of office effective 1/1/08).

**  Mayor (no increase, salary set by Council resolution on 4/19/05 for four year elected term of office effective 1/1/06).

***  Council Members (no increase, salary set by Council resolution on 5/1/07 for two year elected term of office effective 1/1/08).

****  Police Chief salary increase set by Council resolution on 7/27/04 in accordance with Section 207-M of General Municipal Law.


                        POSITION                                                     WAGES         


Group 3            Deputy City Attorney                                        $15,298


Group 4            Secretary to the Mayor                                    $30,723/yr.

                        Clerk Typist                                                   $30,723/yr.

                        Account Clerk Typist                                       $34,023/yr.


Group 8 - Part Time:


                        Assistant Examiner-Engineering Licenses

                        (Chief Examiner of Engineers)                    $704/yr.

                        Bingo Inspectors                                            $714/yr.                                                           Plumbing Inspector                                           $20.71 /hr *****

                        Senior Citizen’s Director                                    $22,625/yr

Clerk Typist                                                   $11.36/hr

                        Custodian (Sr. Center)                         $9.86/hr

                        Detention Aide                                                $11.42/hr

Dog Control Officer                                      $14.27/hr

Ordinance Enforcement Officer              $15.08

                        School Crossing Guards

                          - 1st Year                                                     $7.76./hr

                          - 2nd Year                                                     $8.13 /hr

                        Student Worker                                                $8.62/hr

                        Temporary Laborer                                          $15.89/hr

                        Temporary Maintenance Worker                        $17.36/hr

                        Van Driver (Motor Vehicle Operator)            $11.95 /hr


                        Boards and Commissions:


Civil Service:

                         Secretary                                                          $22,076/yr.

                         Chairman                                                          $1,860 /yr.      

                         Commissioner                                       $1,261/yr.


                        Board of Appeals:

                         Members                                                          $28.00/mtg. ******

                         Secretary                                                          $33.00/mtg. ******


                        Board of Assessment Review:

                         Members                                                          $43.00 /mtg. ******

                         Secretary                                                          $48.00 /mtg. ******


Planning and Zoning Board                           $28.00/mtg. ******


                        Plumbing Board                                                $28.00/mtg. ******


                        Traffic and Safety Advisory Board               $28.00/mtg. ******


                        Youth Board:

                         Executive Director                                           $3,429 /yr.

                         Secretary                                                         $1,307 /yr.      


*****Plumbing Inspector appointment and salary set by Council resolution on 1/8/08.

******Per meeting compensation for Board of Appeals, Board of Assessment Review, Planning and Zoning Board, Plumbing Board, Traffic and Safety Board and Youth Board include a 2.5% increase over 2009 rates, rounded to the nearest dollar.



                        City Attorney Secretarial Support                        $12,300/yr.

                        Computer Services Director                                    $  5,519/yr.

Deputy City Clerk                                        $  2,981/yr.

                        Deputy City Treasurer                                      $  2,981/yr.


Group 8 - Seasonal Employees

Hourly Rate

                   1st Yr.                        2nd Yr.                         3rd Yr. or more


GROUP A                                          $7.67                   $7.72                 $7.78


Recreation Attendant        

(Playground, Pool, Youth Center)


Recreation Specialist

(Craft Instructor, Sports Assistant)


Laborer - Seasonal

(DPW, Water, Signal, Fire, Recreation, City Hall)




Lifeguard            $8.09                             $8.35                        $8.62


GROUP C                                            

Groundsworker             $8.88                 $8.88               $8.88*******

 (Landscaping and flowers)


Park Attendants*******


GROUP D                                              $9.14                  $9.40                $9.72


                        Recreation Leader

                        (Head Lifeguard, Summer Supervisors)


GROUP E                                          $10.24                $11.30             $12.08


Senior Recreation Leader - Seasonal         

(Pool Manager, Sports Instructor)

Groundsworker – Leader

(Landscaping and flowers)


******* Park Attendants assigned to Gateway Harbor will be paid at the Group C

 “3rd yr. or more” hourly rate regardless of the employee’s years of experience.


Ayes: Gilbert, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


22.       By Council President Zeisz                                     seconded by Councilmember Gilbert

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


Ayes: Gilbert, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


23.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

Whereas, working through the City’s labor-management committee, a major initiative and goal has been the provision of City paid medical insurance coverage for all City employees through one health insurance carrier, under one plan with a comparable level of benefits, the Blue Cross/Blue Shield 203 Plan provided by the City under the January 2007 – December 2011 collective bargaining agreement with the City of Tonawanda PBA, to standardize benefits, improve benefit management, reduce City costs and to permit the provision of coverage on an experience rated premium basis rather than a community rated basis, and

            Whereas, providing medical insurance benefits on an experience rated basis would afford the City and its employees a much improved opportunity and employee incentive, to control and manage existing patterns of utilization of medical benefits, and a basis to promote wellness programs that drive down costs without compromising access to and levels of benefits, resulting in potential significant cost savings that, in part, could possibly be used to enhance other benefits, and

            Whereas, the City and the City of Tonawanda Employees Association (CTEA) successfully negotiated terms leading the union agreeing to voluntarily changing medical insurance carriers and plans to the previously referenced PBA BC/BS 203 Plan, representing a major step in achieving the goal of having all City employees medical benefits under one plan and one provider, and

            Whereas, the City discussed this goal and initiative with City employees not represented by a union or collective bargaining agreement prior to changing their existing plan and carrier, and the City and employees were in tentative agreement that should such change occur, the provision found in Section 3(A) - Employee Benefits / Health Insurance During Employment of the existing Personnel Benefits and Policy Manual for City of Tonawanda Employees (Manual), stating, “Effective July 1, 1993, all employees who participate in the employer’s sponsored health plans shall pay ten dollars ($10.00) per month, subject to review and approval by the Common Council, and

            Whereas, a change in medical insurance plans and carriers did in fact occur for non-union from the previous Independent Health plan to the Blue Cross/Blue Shield 203 Plan, resulting in a savings of approximately $6,284 per year, while the elimination of the $10.00 per month, that is imposed exclusively on non-union employees, as found in Section 3(A) of the Manual, has an annual cost of approximately $1,680, resulting in a net annual savings of approximately $4,604 for the City, now therefore be it

            Resolved, the Common Council hereby approves amending the Manual by eliminating the Section 3(A) provision requiring the payment of $10.00 per month by non-union City employees for City provided health insurance coverage.


Ayes: Gilbert, Boyle, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


24.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

Resolved, that at the recommendation of the City Engineer, Jason J. LaMonaco, P.E., that award of Environmental Engineering services to assist with the post closure monitoring and reporting of the Wales Avenue Landfill for 2010 be made to Stearns & Wheler, LLC, at a cost not to exceed $18,500.00.


Funding/Fiscal Impact:             $18,500.00 from Budget Line 5020.203 –Wales Avenue Landfill Monitoring


Ayes: Gilbert, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


25.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that the Mayor be authorized and directed to sign an agreement with Drescher & Malecki, LLP to perform the annual audit of City finances for the fiscal year that ended 12/31/2009 for a fee not to exceed $18,800.


Fiscal Impact:  $14,550 General Fund

                         $4,250 City of Tonawanda PHA Account


Ayes: Gilbert, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


26.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved, that the Mayor be authorized and directed to sign an agreement with B.M.A. Consulting Services, Inc., to perform insurance consulting services to the City of Tonawanda for the calendar year 2010 for a fee of $7,500.


Ayes: Gilbert, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


27.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Resolved that the following certificates of insurance and bonds for plumbers be filed and a licenses be issued for said plumbers to do business in the City of Tonawanda:  Christopher Haefner (Haefner Plumbing), Joseph A. Grasso (Joseph A. Grasso Plumbing) and Jeff Miller (T-Mark Plumbing Inc.). 


Ayes: Gilbert, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


28.       By Councilmember Gilbert                                      seconded by Council President Zeisz

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


Ayes: Gilbert, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted


29.       By the Council                                                              seconded by the Council

            Whereas, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to accept proposals for statewide funding for the implementation of energy conservation measures by small municipalities including: energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy improvements, efficient transportation system implementation, material conservation, and energy management personnel, and

            Whereas, RFP 10 has been issued relative to NYSERDA’s administration of the federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and

            Whereas, $24M has been allocated by the federal government to New York State for the EECBG and $3,358,650 to Region 7 (Western New York), with an RFP deadline of February 17, 2010, and

            Whereas, the City of Tonawanda is an eligible municipality under the RFP and program guidelines for funding that may not exceed $500,000, and

            Whereas, to prepare a competitive and thorough proposal the City requires professional engineering services to inventory City facilities and equipment to create specifications for proposed capital improvements and equipment to be financed, purchased and installed under the program funded pursuant to the RFP, now therefore be it

            Resolved, the Mayor of the City of Tonawanda is hereby authorized to submit a proposal in response to NYSERDA RFP 10, and be it further

            Resolved, the Mayor is further authorized to retain and hire professional engineering services to assist the City in the above referenced scope of work as needed for the City’s proposal, at a cost not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000).


Ayes: Gilbert, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted




Councilmember Gilbert – First I’d like to say, my thoughts and prayers go out to the Hudson family.  No parent ever wants to see their child go through something like that.  I’d like to thank both Police Chief Cindy Young and Fire Chief Chuck Stuart for coming in last week on their own time and being very informative in helping us get through the informative “bull” that they had to put themselves through.   I am very thankful, Chiefs.  I’d like to thank Mr. Holler for his efforts on the skate park issue.  I think his initiative and his where-with-all is great and I think we need more for the kids to go to with stuff like that.  And I’d like to thank the firemen for their dedication and their skill, for their efforts in excavating the woman the other day.   


Councilmember Poole – I also would like to offer my condolences to the Hudson family and ask also for the prayers of all those present for the catastrophe in Haiti, and my congratulations also to the Fire Department for their commendations.   


Councilmember Slisz – I’d like to congratulate the firefighters for their awards.  They’re always in the line of fire and they do things that we would never think of doing and I think they do a fantastic job here in the City of Tonawanda.  Secondly, to the Hudson family, only 78 days ago I lost a granddaughter with three other young teenagers in a car accident and I know what it feels like to lose someone close to you and I wish them the very best in the future. 


Mayor Pilozzi – I too would like to offer my condolences and thoughts and prayers to the family of Andrea Hudson.  January seems to be a bad month in the last couple of years here in the City of Tonawanda.  On the 1st of January, last year, we lost the young lady in a fire, and now this year January, unfortunately, we lost a young person with a lot of life in front of her due to a car accident as a pedestrian.  Tough, tough things and as the gentleman to my left just mentioned who lost a loved one, a young loved one, those are tough times and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.  I’ve already mentioned the congratulations of Captain Graff and Firefighter Briggs.  It goes without saying that it’s good that we can sleep at night knowing that these folks are there, ready, willing, and able to protect us.  Councilmember Gilbert mentioned the skate park.  I went to the meeting, I think it was last week or the week before, I can’t recall, the days go by so fast on this job, I went to that meeting where the Holler family had requested and received, an introduction from the company that makes skate park paraphernalia, the actual ramps and that sort of thing, and I gave them a lot of credit for worrying about you kids, we all worry about kids, our youth because you are the future of this community, give you something that you can be proud of and they’re working diligently on that.  There’s going to be a fundraiser, I was trying to find it in my book, I know it’s in there some place, there’s a fundraiser coming down the pike.  It is in April, got it marked down as the 24th, so keep that in mind because it’s for you kids and you should consider going to it.  Lastly, back in the first week in November, we had an exercise here in the City of Tonawanda, kind of put us on the map for a week’s time.  It was called Vigilant Guard and at the November 10th meeting, I had made mention of the fact that somehow, someway, down the road a life is going to be saved by something that was done right here in our City, and low and behold, for the last several days now you see what’s going on in the country of Haiti.  Ladies and gentlemen that were here in our City, in that week, are now down there trying to save lives, so I’m very proud of the fact that this community stood proud and stood tall in that effort and we had a little bit to play in the fact that lives are being saved down there in Haiti and as Council President Zeisz mentioned, I think it was Council President Zeisz, say some prayers for them too.  Those folks are going through hell right now, I couldn’t even imagine going through that. 


Council President Zeisz – The only thing I wanted to mention is that at our next formal meeting which will be the 2nd of February, the Mayor will do the State of City Address, so hopefully we’ll see quite a few people come out for that to hear how the City’s doing and our prospects for this year and beyond.   I’d just like to thank everyone for taking the time to come out, have a great night, and drive home safely and God Bless you.




30.       By Councilmember Slisz                                         seconded by Councilmember Poole

            Resolved, that this Common Council adjourn until, February 2, 2010.  


Ayes: Gilbert, Slisz, Poole, Zeisz

Nays: None

Resolution declared adopted





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