Town Board News - JULY-DEC. 2007

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Town of Grand Island Website

Town Board Action - 2007
Local Laws Amending Zoning Code & Sanitary Sewer Law Pass

By Joelle Logue

   Monday, Dec. 17, 2007 . . .Three public hearings were held Monday, two of which resulted in amending the zoning code and sanitary sewer laws. Local Law #5 included the addition of various definitions to Section 49-12 of the Zoning Code that relate to stormwater management consistent with federal regulations. The addition of Article XXV provides for a minimum performance standard regarding stormwater management and site design so as to better curtail the negative effects (water bourne pollution and soil erosion) associated with current land use activities. Under this law, developers would also have to integrate pollution prevention controls into the site plan approval process.
   New Local Law #6, adopted Monday, amended the Sanitary Sewer Law to regulate the discharge of non-stormwater discharges into the municipal storm sewer system and new Article IX defined acceptable and unacceptable uses of the storm sewer system including a prohibition of illegal discharge. Both local laws bring Grand Island into compliance with federal laws.
   A third public hearing resulted in setting 2008 sewer rents in the Consolidated Sanitary Sewer District at $4.70 per 1000 gallons of water usage. No one spoke for or against the issues addressed in all three hearings.
   The Town Board approved a request from the Youth Board to use $2,685 from the 2007 budget to arrange for presentations to be given by the Theatre for Change in 2008. One interactive theatre workshop, scheduled for January 18 at Veronica Connor Middle School, will focus on the topic of body image and self-esteem. Illustrated will be the harm that can result from gossip, rumors and bullying. The play will further encourage children to focus on their individual strengths and talents and promote problem-solving and independent thinking. A second play will focus on teen substance abuse and its effect on the family. This will be presented at the Grand Island High School at a date to be determined. The Grand Island PTA is a partner in this project.
   A budget amendment to add $4802.97 just received from the NYS Division of Veterans Affairs to the General Fund (Recreation) was approved. The money replaces what the Recreation Dept. spent last summer on playground equipment and supplies. A $29,000 grant was also received from the NYS Office of Real Property Services to replace money paid out for professional services in the Assessors office. A third budget amendment accounting for a NYS Records Management Grant of $5,875 was also approved. This replaces money already spent in the Town Clerk’s office.
   The following year-end budget amendments were approved to balance each fund in preparation for the year ending Dec. 31, 2007: General ($30,525), Highway ($20,000), Sewer ($444) and Water ($178). These transfers were all made within the same fund. No additional appropriations of fund balance were necessary.
   In other business, the Town Board:
• Appointed Justin Bridenbaker to the position of Water & Sewer Maintenance Worker, Year 3, effective December 29, 2007.
• Agreed to advertise for bids on a trailer-mounted portable generating system with bids to be open January 16 at 10 a.m.
• Announced the election of Michael Dollendorf, Gerry Soto and Sean Towlson as Town of Grand Island licensed plumbers for a two-year term beginning Jan. 1.
• Appointed George Newman for a two-year term on the Electrical Examining Board.
• Granted special use permit renewal to Robert Mesmer for a private airport landing strip at 2548 Love Road.
• Approved continuing a Middle School program at Reality Café.

Scenic Woods/Bicentennial Park Preliminary Master Plan Released - Dec. 2007

   Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007 . . .Preliminary sketches of the proposed master plan for the Scenic Woods/Bicentennial Park parcels have been released by the Town of Grand Island. A public information meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 15, 2008 at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall Courtroom. Those planning to attend are encouraged to look at the information before the meeting. For full details, see Preliminary Scenic Woods Master Plan.

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Monday, December 17, 2007

   Click for
Town Board Agenda 12/17/07.

Town Board Workshop Meeting Notices - Nov. 2007

   Grand Island Town Board Workshop Meetings, 3:30 p.m. Friday, December 14, 2007 and 3:30 p.m. Monday, December 17, 2007 - Re: Code Publishers
   Grand Island Town Board Workshop Meeting, 3:30 p.m. Thursday, December 20, 2007 - Re: Award Bid – 2007 Drainage Program

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - November 19, 2007

   Click for
Approved Minutes November 19, 2007 Meeting.

Town Board Action - 2007
Public Hearing Set For Sewer Rents, Code Amendments

By Joelle Logue

   Monday, Dec. 3, 2007 . . .The Town Board, Monday, scheduled public hearings for 8 p.m. December 17 on the 2008 sewer rate, proposed at $4.70 per 1,000 gallons of water. Also to be aired are amendments to the zoning code and subdivision regulation in regard to adoption of an erosion and sediment control law plus a law amending the sanitary sewer law to prohibit elicit discharges, activities and connections to the municipal storm sewer system. Both amendments, now required under federal guidelines, must be in place by the end of the year, according to Town Attorney Peter Godfrey.
   Al Hopkins, representing Metzger Engineers and requesting preliminary plat approval for East River frontage lots north of Whitehaven Road that would be part of Oakwood Estates, described the 4.4 acre project for seven homes and indicated there were no ecological concerns or jurisdictional wetlands impacted. No one spoke against the development and the Town Board granted the preliminary plat.
   Due to the inadequate material condition found after the milling operations on East/West Park Road, paving is required to include placement of a Type 3 Binder at a depth of 3.4” over the entire width of the existing travel lanes and the shoulders. The cost will increase the project budget to $128,182. With a credit due from the State Parks of $73,489 the total cost to the town would be $54,693. This change order was approved.
   Subdivision regulations were waived for property lines on the south side of Staley Road across from Invitrogen and Abraxis Pharmaceutical to accommodate a parking lot that was constructed in the wrong location.
   The Town approved the following winter hires for the Recreation Dept.: James Sica, a returning lifeguard, at $8 per hour; Kristen Toellner, a new lifeguard, at $8 per hour; Matthew Klock, a returning attendant at $7.15 per hour.
   Supervisor Peter McMahon encouraged residents to make positive public comments regarding the town’s application for a Niagara River Greenway grant that would permit the creation of a fishing station at the old wastewater treatment plant located at the base of the South Grand Island Bridge. Comments should be mailed by December 22 to Rob Belue, Executive Director Niagara River Greenway Commission, 2136 West Oakfield Rd., Grand Island 14072.
   The Town Board authorized the Town to apply as a lead applicant or co-applicant for Shared Municipal Services Incentive Grant funding from the state that would lead to additional municipal partnerships between the town and Erie County and possibly include the City of Tonawanda as well.
   In other business, the board:
• Approved public improvements for new infrastructure for the Town Hall Terrace senior apartments.
• Accepted a bid from Gorman Enterprises for a new bus for the Golden Age Center at a cost of $56,867.82.
• Authorized the supervisor to complete and submit paperwork to create an additional water and sewer maintenance worker position.
• Announced that the VFW would hold a Pearl Harbor Remembrance ceremony at noon on Friday, Dec. 7
• Announced that the Town would decorate and light the gazebo Friday, Dec.7 and Santa arrival activities would take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Town Hall.
• Announced that members of the Rotary Club would be ringing Salvation Army bells this weekend (Dec. 7-8) around town and that Historic Trinity would hold its holiday house tour and craft sale, including open house at River Lea on Saturday.

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Monday, December 3, 2007

   Click for
Town Board Agenda 12/3/07.

Thurs. Dec. 6 Workshop CANCELLED
Town Board MEETING NOTICE - Nov. 2007

   Grand Island Town Board Workshop Meeting, 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 4, 2007 and 3:30 p.m. Thursday, December 6, 2007 - Re: Code Publishers

Town Board Action - 2007
Site Plan Approved For Whitehaven Road Campground Project

By Joelle Logue

   Monday, Nov. 19, 2007 . . .Following a workshop during which the Town Board declared a negative declaration regarding the proposed Niagara Falls campground and related pond, the Board further granted site plan approval of the project at Monday night’s meeting. As the lead agency for the project, the town is requiring, prior to issuance of the pond permit, that money coming from the sale of the clay will go into an escrow account for the development of the campground. These monies must be spent within 30 months or by Nov. 19, 2111 whichever comes first or be forfeited to the town. This agreement between the town and the campground developers will insure that the town is not left with an open hole and no campground.
   Site plan approval was given to another recreational pond project requested by Steven Birtz at 2230 Fix Road subject to the following conditions: pond slopes must have a maximum slope of 3 ft. high to one ft. vertical to a depth of six ft.; berms will not cause ponding of water on adjacent properties; temporary material stockpiled will be stabilized and vegetative cover will be established as per stormwater regulations; and NYS DEC safety postings will be utilized.
   A waiver of subdivisions regulations was granted to split off a parcel of land at Fantasy Island and combine it with another parcel. Yet a third parcel landlocked between the two parcels already mentioned has been obtained and will be attached to the two to create one single lot.
   A public hearing has been set for Monday, December 3 to consider preliminary plat approval for seven frontage lots on East River Road in Oakwood Estates, north of Whitehaven Road. The property is zoned R-1C.
   The Town Board granted a one-year delay to site plan requirements at the dance studio at 1917 Staley Road. The owner would like to replace a top coat of asphalt with a double coat of asphalt sealer because adding a top coat of asphalt would create drainage problems near the building.
   Supervisor Peter McMahon was given authorization to re-submit an application for a Shared Municipal Services Incentive Grant that would permit a feasibility study for combining facilities for Town Highway, Town Parks & Recreation, School District transportation and School District buildings and grounds. The purpose of this would reduce costs for both the town and district. A maximum of $100,000 in funds are sought. The town would match one-half of 10 percent from its 2008 budget.
   In other business, the Board:
• Authorized the advertising of bids on the proposed 2007 drainage program to be opened on Dec. 12 at 10 a.m.
• Authorized the supervisor to submit an application to the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan for a 50/50% matching grant to convert the former wastewater treatment plant on East River Road into a Fisherman’s Park.
• Also authorized the supervisor to submit an application to the Niagara Greenway Grant program (a 90%/10% match grant not to exceed $600,000) to convert the former wastewater treatment plant into Fisherman’s Park.
• Agreed to renewed a three-year snow plowing contract with Erie County that has five percent increases each year.

Town Board Action - 2007
2008 Town Budget & Fire Company Contract Approved

By Joelle Logue

   Monday, Nov. 19, 2007 . . .The Town Board, Monday, approved the town’s 2008 budget as follows:
• General Fund, $6,015,317 with $1,914,354 to be raised by taxes resulting in a $2.912 tax rate per $1000 of assessed value
• Fire Protection, $997,166 with $960,000 to be raised by taxes resulting in a tax rate of $1.367 of assessed value
• Highway Fund, $2,572,367 with $2,034,690 to be raised by taxes resulting in a tax rate of $3.095 per assessed value
• Sewer District, $2,823,206 with $727,844 to be raised by taxes resulting in a tax rate of $7.969 per $1,000 of land value only
• Water District, $2,553,454 with $689,541 to be raised by taxes resulting in a tax rate of $5,782 per 1,000 of land value only
• Lighting Districts, $202,963 with $179,164 to be raised by taxes (tax rate varies by district)
• Refuse & Garbage, $1,341,816 with all of it to be raised by taxes resulting in a flat rate of $196.00 per dwelling
• Debt Service Appropriations, $1,206,908
   A three- year contract with the Fire Company was approved beginning January 1, 2008. Amounts are as follows:
• 2008 - $927,681.16
• 2009 - $958,166.16
• 2010 - $985,210.16

Town Historic Preservation Board
Pierce Farm Display Moves To Historic Trinity - 2007

This early 1900s Pierce barn was 182 feet in length, housed 100 head of cattle, and was believed to be the largest barn in Western NY at the time.
The Pierce family summered in this boathouse and had a separate kitchen/dining room added to the river site.

Pierce farm gardens

Pierce Farm display - Historic Preservation Board Member Sharon Nichols
      Click photos for larger view

   The Town Historic Preservation Board's special exhibit of photos taken at the 500-acre George E. Pierce Farm, "The Elms," once located on West River Road across from Navy Island in the early 1900s, will be moved to Historic Trinity Church, 2100 Whitehaven Road as part of Historic Trinity's Holiday House Tour & Craft Show on Saturday, December 8. The exhibit was first displayed at River Lea on Sunday, November 18th.
   For more information on the Historic Trinity Holiday House Tour, see "Holiday House Tour".
   “The Elms” Farm, owned by Pierce, a prominent Buffalo grain broker, was known for its landmark, 182’ long barn, believed to be the largest in WNY at the time. Pictures in the display include views of the pergola said to be from the Pan-American Exposition and a pagoda style boathouse.

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Monday, November 19, 2007

   Click for
Town Board Agenda 11/19/07.

Saturday's Island Tree Planting - Do You Have Photos? - Nov. 2007

   The community came out in mass to help plant the first shipment of trees from Re-Tree WNY today (Sat., Nov. 10th). Today's planting in Veterans Park and Marion Klingel Town Common is to commemorate the 1st anniversary of the 2006 October Storm. If you have a photo of the planting you would like to submit for consideration, email to

Town Board Action - 2007
Learman, The Lone Voice At Budget Hearing

By Joelle Logue

   Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007 . . .Public hearings on the 2008 Town Budget and Fire Company contract took a total of fifteen minutes Thursday evening with the Building Department’s Doug Learman the lone voice from the floor. His opposition to the budget was in direct reference to what he considers an inadequate staffing problem that has existed in his department for years. And this year’s request for additional funding to correct the problem is not a new message from Learman to the Town Board.
   The Building Inspector and Code Officer cited updated state building codes from 2003 as reason for extra staffing needs. New standards of oversight and the increased number of fire safety inspection requirements have made it impossible for the Grand Island Building Department to be in compliance. And this is in the face of an increase of building permits over the past year (72 for single family homes). Learman said his department has fewer personnel than in 1997 and that the department has suffered from poor state ratings that results in increased insurance rates for the town. He suggested that modifying fee schedules would allow for proper staffing.
   The 2008 proposed town budget was referred to the Town Board for further review following Learman’s remarks and Supervisor Peter McMahon summarizing the numbers. Looking at a 9.4 percent increase, McMahon cites garbage pick-up and disposal as the main culprit. According to a memorandum on the budget submitted October 1, a disagreement with the garbage contractor led to a re-bid of the contract that resulted in an increase of $0 to $40 per household. Since the tax rate was fixed at $130 per single family dwelling, the additional costs were carried over to the 2008 tax rate making garbage costs 50 percent higher than in 2007. The Town is hoping to recoup the increased costs by pursuing legal action against the contractor, but for now the increase costs must be put in the budget.
   Sewer taxes will increase from $7.48 to $7.97 per $1000 of assessed value of land only or 6.6 percent.
   Fire protection increases from $1.29 to $1.37 per $1000 of assessed value for an increase of 5.8 percent reflecting the debt service associated with the purchase of a new aerial platform.
   Highway taxes will increase 11 cents or 3.5 percent ($3.10 per $1000 of assessed value compared to $2.99 in 2007). The 2008 water tax remains unchanged - $5.78 per $1000 of assessed value on the land only.
   General fund taxes, under the supervisor’s recommended budget, will go up six cents per $1000, from $2.85 this year to $2.91 in 2008 largely due to inflation.
   If approved the budget would result in a $97.96 increase per year on a house built on a $30,000 lot in the sewer district. The same house outside the sewer district would be increased to $90.59. Keep in mind that $66 of the increase is for garbage.
   Also referred to the Town Board for further review was the Fire Company Contract that will cover three years. The Fire Protection District Budget is set at $871,000, an increase of 4.8 percent. Add to that the aerial truck repayment of $56,000 and the increase is 11.6 percent or $927,7000 for 2008. In 2009, there will be a 3.3 percent increase to $958,200 and in 2010, a 2.8 percent increase to $985,200. The repayment of the aerial truck is a $56,000 budget item for all three years.

Town Board MEETING NOTICE - Nov. 2007

   Grand Island Town Board Workshop Meeting, 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 7, 2007 and Thursday, November 8, 2007 RE: CODE PUBLISHERS
   Grand Island Town Board Public Hearing 7 p.m. Thursday, November 8, 2007 RE: TOWN OF GRAND ISLAND – 2008 BUDGET

2007 Winners
McMahon, Iannello

   Election Day November 6, 2007 . . .Peter A. McMahon was re-elected supervisor. Unofficial election returns gave McMahon 3325 votes, and Mary S. Cooke, 2719.
   Elected for another term on the Erie County Legislature was Michele M. Iannello over Island resident Rus Thompson. See Erie County, NY - Board of Elections - Election Results. Official results will not be available until at least next week when Absentee Ballots are counted and the election is certified.

Town Board Action - 2007
Town Safety Committee Seeks Approval On Four Items

By Joelle Logue

   Monday, Nov. 5, 2007 . . .The Town Safety Committee at its November 1 meeting put together a list of four recommendations to submit to the Town Board for approval. The Town Board did approve two of the recommendations including the purchase of six additional AEDs to be placed at the Highway Dept. and the Rec. Dept., Parks & Recreation office, water plant, wastewater plant, Veterans Park and the Memorial Library at a cost of $10,896.
   The Town also agreed to spend $200 to cover the cost of two NYS DOT approved highway safety classes that would be offered to all AFSCME and Teamster employees and their supervisors. Referred back to the Town Board for further consideration were the recommendations that CPR training be offered to all employees and a budget line request of $1000 in the 2008 budget.
   Final plat approval was granted for Phase 2 of Golf Course Villas at River Oaks following a public hearing at which only Al Hopkins, engineer on the project, spoke about the site and showed a diagram for clarity. He said Phase 2 was simply an extension of Phase I and included 17 new lots with utilities all in place.
   A resolution was adopted directing the Town Clerk not to accept payments of delinquent water and sewer accounts after October 31 and that the following arrears will go on the tax roll of 2008: water ($191.901.51); sewer ($254,587.44); meters ($2,823.50); miscellaneous charges ($370).
   A special use permit for the keeping of three agricultural animals on 6.02 acres by Michael and Judith Schneider of 1952 Harvey Road was renewed, and a request by Pamela Dibernardo to combine three sublots into one at 3504 Wallace Drive was approved contingent on the proper paperwork being filed in the office of the county clerk.
   In other business, the board:
• Authorized the supervisor to renew the cooperative water and wastewater purchase agreement with the city of Niagara Falls.
• Approved promotional material expenses (including a CD, brochure, folders and design work) of $8,555 for the Economic Development Committee.
• Authorized the supervisor to send a letter to Allied Waste indicating the town’s intent to renew the contract with them.
• Authorized the supervisor to bid on a new bus for the Golden Age Center with bids to be open Friday, November 30 at 10 a.m.
• Approved a request from the Traffic Safety Committee for the NYS Thruway Authority to provide a detailed striping plan for Exit 18-A (Access road E & Stony Point Road).
• Announced that the planting of 60 trees would take place this Saturday, Nov. 10 and volunteers are welcome to help beginning at 10 a.m. at the Town Hall.
• Veterans Day ceremonies will be held Sunday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Wall on Bedell Road.
• The first Niagara River Plunge to benefit Special Olympics will be held noon Saturday, Nov. 10 at Beaver Island Beach with registration from 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
• The 2008 Town Budget, Fire Company Budget and Fire Contract public hearings will be held a 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8 at Town Hall.

Town Board Action - 2007
Warm Clothes Drive Warrants Proclamation

By Joelle Logue

   Monday, Nov. 5, 2007 . . . Two Isle women in Buffalo State College’s Honors 301 Ethics and Values Class are taking the course to heart by initiating a warm clothes drive for refugees who have relocated to Buffalo. Julie Drozdowski and Lauren Asbach, Grand Island Class of 2006, are taking the college class project a step further by calling on the community of Grand Island to donate gently used warm coats, sweaters, sweatshirts, hats, mittens/gloves, scarves and blankets for men, women and children. Donations will be accepted in the lobby of Town Hall November 13, 14, and 15 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The items will be turned over to Journey’s End Refugee Services and Vive, two charities that help refugees adjust to their new lives in the United States.
   Since 2004, Buffalo has resettled almost 2000 refugees, many of whom come from warmer climates. In most cases these refugees have fled their countries due to persecution of race, religion, nationality or political persuasions. Julie and Lauren are asking Islanders to clean their closets and help make a difference in the lives of those forging a new life in Buffalo.
   In recognition of their efforts, Supervisor McMahon and the Town Board presented the women with a proclamation thanking them for their efforts in such a worthy cause and congratulating them on turning a course on ethics and values into humanitarian action.

Town Board Action - 2007
Veterans Groups Recognized For New Transportation Van

Click photo for larger view

By Joelle Logue
   Monday, Nov. 5, 2007 . . .Free transportation for veterans in need of medical care and other treatments is a service of the DAV Transportation Network. Veterans groups and auxiliaries on Grand Island pooled resources and combined efforts to raise enough money to purchase a new van for the exclusive use of the Veterans Administration Transportation Program.
   The new van proudly displays the logo of each of the veterans groups along with the Grand Island town map, and will often be driven from volunteers from the Isle community.
   A proclamation of congratulations was presented Monday by the Town Board to members of the Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial VFW Post 9249, the American Legion Post 1346, the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 168 plus drivers for their extraordinary efforts in providing this transportation van that salutes the town of Grand Island and its veteran groups.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - October 15, 2007

   Click for
Approved Minutes October 15, 2007 Meeting.

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Monday, November 5, 2007

   Click for
Town Board Agenda 11/5/07.

Trick-or-Treat Hours For Halloween - 2007

    Grand Island's trick-or-treat hours have been announced as between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 31.

Democratic, Republican Election Inspectors Needed - Nov. 2007

   If you are a registered Democrat or Republican voter and would like to work on Election Day as an election inspector, November 6th, contact Town Clerk Patricia Frentzel at 773-9600 ext. 622 as soon as possible.

Preliminary Town Budget Hearing - Nov. 2007

   The Town Board will hold a public hearing on the preliminary budget at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 8, 2007 showing changes, alterations and revisions. See "Public Hearing 11/8/07 for complete information.

Town Board/School Board MEETING NOTICE - Oct. 2007

The Grand Island Town Board and School Board will hold a quarterly, joint meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, October 29, 2007 in the large cafeteria of the Grand Island High School.

Town of Grand Island Reality Café Open House - Oct. 2007

   The Town of Grand Island Reality Café is hosting an Open House for 6th and 7th graders on Tuesday, October 30, 2007 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Café located in the Nike Base Complex, 3278 Whitehaven Road. Reality Café is a coffeehouse, supervised by Parks and Recreation Staff. It is a drug and alcohol free environment that offers air hockey, a pool table, foosball, age appropriate video games (Xbox, PS2, and Nintendo), table games and movies, board games and craft materials. Refreshments are for sale at reasonable prices. In good weather, skate board ramps may be used.
   Reality Café is for Grand Island students in grades 8 – 12. The staff is considering opening it for 6th and 7th graders one day each week if there is enough interest. A survey of 6th and 7th graders will be conducted at Connor Middle School to determine the best night for their time at the Café. Results of the survey will be available at the Open House.
   Click "survey" and scroll down.

Town of Grand Island Tree Planting - Can You Help? - Oct. 2007

   Do something positive to commemorate the 1st anniversary of the 2006 October Storm. The Town of Grand Island will plant its first shipment of trees from Re-Tree WNY on Saturday, November 10. Sixty (60) trees are in this first shipment. Your help is needed! Everyone is invited. Children under age 13 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. You can learn the technique of planting bare root trees and help beautify the Island at the same time. Planting will take place in Veterans Park and Marion Klingel Town Common.
   Pre-planting training is required and will be held at Town Hall first floor conference room. Sessions are one hour long and are offered on Tuesday, October 30 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, November 3 at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. You need to attend just ONE of the pre-planting training sessions. Tree planting will take place on Saturday, November 10 at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m., You may sign-up for planting times and locations at each pre-planting training session.
   Re-Tree WNY began in response to the devastation of the October 2006 storm. Their goal is to reforest every public space in Western New York, even spaces that needed to be filled in before the storm. Their baseline goal is to plant 6,000 trees across the region for the next five years but they will execute this plan according to available funds and volunteer help.
   In November 2006 the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation announced a program to assist municipalities in WNY that suffered significant tree damage from the October 2006 snowstorm with restoration of tree cover in the community. Grand Island received an Urban and Community Forestry Grant of $4,200 and chose to use it to plant trees on public property. In May, the Town Board added an additional $4,200 to the grant and decided work through Re-Tree WNY. Participation in Re-Tree makes the town eligible for matching money, so the potential exists for Grand Island to have $16,800 for tree purchases.
   A dedicated group of community volunteers, many representing Grand Island Garden Clubs, has worked for several months to plan the execution of this grant. They determined the varieties of trees best suited for the public spaces available and the best locations to plant them. The group includes Pat Asarese, Mary Cooke, Anne Dyet, Carol Manning, Paula Sciuk, Rochelle Smith, Geri Stalica and Pat Wydra.
   Check out www.RE-TREEWNY.ORG on the internet to learn more about the activities of this group.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - October 1, 2007

   Click for
Approved Minutes October 1, 2007 Meeting.

Town Board Action - 2007
Public Hearings To Air 2008 Town/Fire Budget Proposals

By Joelle Logue

   Monday, Oct. 15, 2007 . . .Three public hearings on a special night, Thursday. Nov. 8 at 7 p.m., will air the Town Preliminary Budget Plan for 2008 as well as the Fire Company 2008 budget and contract.
   The Fire Company is seeking a three-year contract (one year contract with two one-year renewals). In a letter to the Town Board, Fire Company Board Chair Michael Dallessandro wrote, “We are confident the budget amounts requested, plus the cost of the annual loan payment for the new aerial ladder truck will allow us to continue to offer the high quality emergency services the people of Grand Island have come to count on."
   A truck payment of $56,681.16 will be made each of the three years. The budget number for 2008 is $871,000. It increases to $901,485 in 2009 and increases again in 2010 to $928,529.55.

Town Board Action - 2007
Community Development Projects Identified

By Joelle Logue

   Monday, Oct. 15, 2007 . . .The Town Board, Monday, identified two projects to submit for Community Development Block grants. One is a replacement bus with all the bells and whistles (high seat backs plus other amenities) for the Golden Age Center estimated to cost $50,000. The second is the replacement of a pavement for pedestrian access on Love Road from East Park to Kaegebein Elementary School at an estimated cost of $50,000. A third proposal for a handicapped usable playground at Veterans Park that would include equipment for the wheelchair bound and a new playground surface was estimated to cost $120,000. The Town Board felt the playground project would be eligible for a spring 2008 parks grant that provides an 80-20 match.
   A proclamation to salute School Board Recognition Week (Oct. 22-26) will be formally presented after the fact Monday, October 29 when a joint meeting of the school board and town board is scheduled. The School Board was meeting in executive session Monday preventing trustees to attend the Town Board meeting.
   A change order to the bike trail connect project costing an additional $100,000 was approved. The increase in cost is due to the deteriorated condition of the existing bike path between South Park and Buckhorn Park. The poor condition is the result of a nearly five-year delay in getting the project to construction according to Town Engineer John Whitney. It was agreed that a letter should be sent to the State DOT and State Parks offices about the situation.
   A public hearing has been set for 8 p.m. November 5 regarding final plat approval for Golf Course Villas at River Oaks – Phase 2. The project includes 17 lots with an 8 ft. berm including vegetation.
   A request from Stephen Birtz of 2230 Fix Road to combine a residential lot with a vacant lot was approved subject to the proper paperwork being filed with the Erie County Clerk’s office.
   The Town Board announced that the State Dept. of Transportation is seeking the town’s assistance in improving safety and reducing delay at the intersection of Rte. 324 and Staley Road. Considered is a reconfiguration of this signalized intersection with a one-lane, modern roundabout at a cost of $1.6 million. Comments were being sought by October 26.
   Received from Frank Brusino, chairman of the Citizen Corp Council, was a list of accomplishments achieved and activities held over the past five years. The Town Board will be sending a letter of appreciation for all the work done by the committee.
   In other business, the board:
• Authorized the town engineer to advertise for sanitary sewer pump station #9 emergency power with bids to be open November 14 at 10 a.m.
• Accepted a bid for one new 2008 Sterling L7500 Cab and Chassis at a cost of $73,448 from Fleet Maintenance for the Highway Dept.
• Appointed John Burns of Fix Road to the Traffic Safety Advisory Board with a term expiring December 31, 2008.
• Approved sending Thomas Cecere to the Empire State Green Industry Show Nov. 13-15 in Rochester where he will receive CEU credits toward renewal of his pesticide license that is required every three years
• Congratulated the Grand Island High School Football Team for making the playoffs.
• Announced that the three veterans organizations on the Island – VFW, DAV and the American Legion - had raised $11,500 toward the purchase of a van for the DAV transportation network and that it will be dedicated at 9 a.m. Saturday, October 20 at Veterans Hospital.

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Monday, October 15, 2007

   Click for
Town Board Agenda 10/15/07.

Economic Development Business Update - 2007

Chairman Mark Stramaglia addresses participants of EDAB business update.
(right) Aerial view of industrial corridor
Jodi Robinson Photos - Click photos for larger view

   The Grand Island Economic Development Advisory Board held a business update on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at the Holiday Inn Grand Island. Chairman Mark Stramaglia spoke on making connections and integrating into regional efforts. The mission of the EDAB is: dedicated to removing obstacles to appropriate expansion of existing & new businesses on Grand Island. Partners the EDAB has worked with include: Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, Empire State Development, ECIDA, UB Regional Institute, Golden Horseshoe Bioscience Network, and the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce.
   Some key initiatives discussed include site analysis of Grand Island properties, Gateway Initiative which is the engagement with local developers, ECIDA and Empire State Development for significant site improvements for business expansion (new & existing). Also, the new EDAB website, matching new business and sites needed and engaging local business as to what they need to better themselves.
   In the past several months progress has been made on the Town Center Plan. Design standards have been implemented and a wireless grant has been procured through the EDIDA/ESD to allow WiFi within the Town Center District. Supervisor Peter McMahon spoke of traffic infrastructure and the Staley Road/GI Blvd. corner receiving an F rating from the D.O.T. A small circle or round-about has been discussed as a way to ease congestion there. Repairs to the south bridge were also mentioned with a spring 2008 tentative start date. The impact of the Grand Island Central School District on the community's economic development was mentioned as Grand Island was ranked number 10 out of 97 area districts in terms of academic results.

Town Board MEETING NOTICE - Oct. 2007
Grand Island Town Board
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Re: Legal Advice – Meeting with Conservation Commission Regarding Conservation Easements

Town Board MEETING NOTICE - Oct. 2007
Grand Island Town Board Workshop
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Re: Legal Advice – Cellular Towers 

Town Board MEETING NOTICES - Oct. 2007

   Town Board Workshop - Friday, October 19, 2007 – 3:30 p.m. - Re: Code Revisions
   Town Board Workshop - Monday, October 22, 2007 – 3:30 p.m. - Re: Code Revisions
   Town Board Workshop - Tuesday, October 23, 2007 – 3:30 p.m. - Re: Code Revisions
   Town Board Workshop - Wednesday, October 24, 2007 – 3:30 p.m. - Re: Code Revisions
   Town Board Workshop - Thursday, October 25, 2007 – 3:30 p.m. - Re: Code Revisions

Town Board MEETING NOTICES - Oct. 2007

   Town Board Workshop - Friday, October 12, 2007 – 3:30 p.m. - Re: Budget and Code Revisions if time permits - Re: 2008 Budget
   Town Board Workshop - Saturday, October 13, 2007 – 8:00 a.m. - Re: Budget and Code Revisions if time permits- Re: 2008 Budget
   Town Board Workshop - Wednesday, October 17, 2007 – 3:30 p.m. - Re: Budget and Code Revisions if time permits - Re: 2008 Budget

Town Board Action - 2007
Protestors of Country Club Cottage Project Come Prepared To Public Hearing

By Joelle Logue

   Monday, Oct. 1, 2007 . . .A well organized contingent of residents led by Environmental Attorney Richard Lippes, all of whom oppose the Country Club Cottage project bordered by Fix, Fairway and Baseline roads, came well prepared to the public hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). More like a lecture series complete with hand-outs, the presentation by residents to the Town Board lasted more than an hour as they attested to a myriad of reasons why this project would be detrimental to the Island. Foremost among the reasons were wetlands, stormwater concerns and poor soil quality.
   Attorney Richard Lippes read his four pages of remarks that were directed at the inadequacy of the project’s DEIS. Lippes said he had never seen a worse DEIS except for a previous one submitted by Developer John Stickl. Claiming that the DEIS showed no understanding of state environmental law, he called the 20-page document “totally inadequate in fulfilling SEQR requirements.”
   Lippes cited flaw after flaw in the report from the project description and purpose statements to alternative analyses stating that the DEIS was devoid of description and evidence. The section on wetlands, he contended, was largely argumentative and unsubstantiated with no baseline data evident, and the wetlands analysis done by the neighborhood association had not even been considered for inclusion.
   Traffic assumptions made in the report based on the project being for active adults were not backed up with empirical data, and Lippes said, “Who is to say only empty nesters will buy those patio homes?” Furthermore, he said no specialneeds assessment of the seniors were addressed in the DEIS. Lippes called the Alternative Analysis the heart of the review process and said the DEIS was not up to speed to reject alternatives having no true discussion on the subject of a smaller project or follow through with the present zoning for single family homes. He added that soil boring tests must be done and that there are no mitigating measures to prevent sinking homes. He further said that the DEIS lacks baseline data on the project’s effects on flora and fauna and called the impact studies totally inadequate.
   Jerry Wochadlo distributed his own response to the DEIS and challenged Town Board members to read each word. He was adamant about not developing land that had poor soil and contended it would result in sinking homes. Lois Jean Shriver called the parcel “wet,” wondered if homeowners could get flood insurance, talked about the land as emerging wetlands, cautioned against water ending up in the basements of adjacent homes, pointed out structural cracks already evidenced in Fairway homes, and said the town should clean out the east/west ditch. She also had her own hand-outs that were distributed.
   Anita and Ray DeGlopper focused on the project’s potential adverse effects on their farm, the negative change in the character of the rural neighborhood, and cited reports that conclude cluster projects cause conflicts between neighbors.
   Other speakers, Tom and Artie McAuliffe and Elizabeth Stoklosa, also emphasized the negative environmental impacts, called detention ponds dangerous, feared basement cave-ins, cited cracks in foundations, adverse affects on property values and claimed the land was just “too wet” to build on.
   In juxtaposition to the arguments brought by neighbors of the proposed cluster development, Tom Metzger, engineer for the project, said the project redesign over the past couple of years had made the Country Club Cottage project a good one. With the cluster plan, 13 acres of open space is preserved, additional buffering to neighborhood residents is in place and half of the 1.39 acres of local wetlands cited would be preserved. No state wetlands are identified and in the 14.7 acres only .35 acres are federal wetlands. In fact, Metzger said, the 13 plus acres of open space would be an upland area with some land reverting to wetlands. He added that stormwater plans call for a wet detention pond with an aquatic bench adjacent to the pond that could result in an emergent marsh habitat.
   As for the soil quality, Metzger claimed that clay soils would be mitigated with proper setbacks, and concluded that Country Club Cottages would provide an enhanced environmental setting.
   After hearing all comments, Supervisor Peter McMahon announced that written comments would be accepted at the Office of the Town Clerk until 5 p.m. October 11. The Town Board referred the project back to the Town Board for further review.

Town Board Action - 2007
Several Projects Identified For CDBG

By Joelle Logue

   Monday, Oct. 1, 2007 . . .Several ideas were presented during the public hearing, Monday, for the 2008-2009 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) process. Supervisor Peter McMahon mentioned that a new bus is needed for the Golden Age Center at an estimated cost of $80,000 to $90,000. Replacing the bike path on the south side of Love Road is another worthy project. But the only one speaking during the public hearing was Theresa Hooper who is advocating for a handicapped accessible playground expansion at Veterans Park, one that has a surface conducive for wheelchairs.
   Hooper was advised by McMahon that additional letters of support with cost estimates would be helpful in promoting that project. Dave Birt representing the DAV and the Ferry Village Homeowners told Hooper that the DAV may have some resource funds for the playground. But he was also on hand to promote a bike path in Ferry Village. McMahon said the bike path there would not be eligible for Community Development Grant money as those funds are earmarked for projects that serve low income populations or senior citizens. The good news, though, is that the bike path is built into the Greenway Plan.
   In order to apply for the next round of NYS Archives and Records Administration grants, the town is required to have an updated Geographic Information System (GIS) Needs Assessment. Therefore, the board authorized Bergmann Associates to perform the needs assessment at a fee not to exceed $7460.
   Three special use renewals were approved as follows: the keeping of three agricultural animals by Richard Benz at 828 East River Road; the keeping of one agricultural animal by John Ventry at 3440 Stony Point; and Verizon’s wireless telecommunications tower at 423 Ransom Road.
   The Town Board referred to the Planning Board a change in site plan request from Hot to Go Racing at 2317 Grand Island Blvd. that would put off re-paving of the parking lot until next spring.
   In other business, the board:
• Referred to the Town Board a letter from the Building Department recommending that electrical inspections for the town continue to be done by the New York Board of Fire Underwriters and that no other inspectors would be needed.
• Accepted the Highway Dept.’s annual inventory of machinery, tools and equipment.
• Approved the closing of Baseline Road between Whitehaven and Grand Island Blvd. for the Grand Island Fire Company’s annual Fire Prevention Open House from 5-8 p.m. October 12 with the condition the Fire Company provides its own traffic control.
• Referred to the town engineer a letter from Glenn and Marianne Catalano requesting the town look into the cleaning up of Gun Creek.
• Referred to the Town Board a letter from William Briggs as owner and operator of National Electrical Certified Inspections requesting authorization to do electrical inspections in the Town of Grand Island.
• Announced that the VFW Chili Cook-off will be held Oct. 13 and the Knights of Columbus will hold a blood drive October 9.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - September 17, 2007

   Click for
Approved Minutes September 17, 2007 Meeting.

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Monday, October 1, 2007

   Click for
Town Board Agenda 10/1/07.

MEETING NOTICE - September 25, 2007

   The Grand Island Town Board will hold a Public Hearing 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - Re: Public Hearing for Restore NY Communities Initiative Application.

Town Board Action - 2007
Public Hearings Bring Little Response

By Joelle Logue

   Monday, Monday, September 17, 2007 . . .Two public hearings, Monday, one on a final plat for Ashbrooke Court Estates Phase I and another on amending Article 5 of the Town Code regarding the way the Architectural Review Board does business, had little public input. No one spoke for or against Ashbrooke Court Estates Phase I on Long Road and the Town Board granted final plat approval of the project. The board also approved a Public Improvement Permit for the construction of pavement, storm drainage, waterline and sanitary sewer to serve the 10 lots.
   Attorney John Garas spoke neither for or against the proposed Local Law Intro #8 but had questions on the way projects would be considered in particular Golf Course Villas which he is representing on behalf of Smith Ventures. His question was whether the 500 ft. rule or three-lot rule would apply to Golf Course Villas and Supervisor Peter McMahon said that the three-lot rule would apply in specialty subdivisions. The Local Law was referred back to the Town Board for further consideration.
   A public hearing has been set for October 1 at 8 p.m. to consider projects for the 2008-2009 Community Block Grant. The hearing will provide an opportunity for citizens to express community development and housing needs and to discuss possible projects that would benefit low- and moderate-income residents.
   Discussion took place regarding representation on the Greenway Standing Committee because Erie County stands to receive $2 million annually from the NY Power Authority for the next 50 years. Wanting an advocate for the 10th district to which Grand Island belongs, the supervisor was asked to write a letter in support of Legislator Michele Iannello being represented on the committee. However, Mary Cooke who in principle didn’t disagree, asked for the item to be tabled till conversation takes place with Iannello in order to make clear Grand Island’s advocacy position. Thus, the motion was tabled.
   A preliminary plat (fifth revision) for New England Estates that would eliminate two lots and turn over 7 ¼ acres of more land for open space was approved by the Town Board which also waived the recreation fee due to the fact the project boasts 17.8 acres of open space (more than required).
   The Town Board authorized Supervisor McMahon to sign a lease between the Erie County Board of Elections and the Town for use of town properties during the primary and general elections. The town will receive $300 each day for the use of the Town Hall, Nike Base, Highway Garage and the Library buildings. The lease is subject to a 30-day permissive referendum and reflects a change in state law that puts the financial onus on the country rather than the towns.
   In other business, the board:
• Approved the Highway Dept.’s request to bid for a new and unused 2008 heavy-duty cab and chassis.
• Granted a request from Michael Czerwonka to change property lines at 2116 and 2126 Harvey Road subject to approval of the town attorney and the appropriate paperwork being filed with the county.
• Approved additional work costing $4200.57 for the milling and resurfacing on the western side of the Staley Road overpass.
• Approved a budget amendment to account for the first payment of a $29,000 grant ($15,188) in the assessor’s budget.
• Accepted a bid of $4,300 from Grand Island Greatscape to complete work on unfinished playing fields at Veterans Park.
• Agreed to abandon three streets and approve the merger of six lots as requested by LPJ Development/Richard O. Robinson subject to all paperwork being filed with the county.
• Referred to the Assessor’s office a petition from the Fairview neighborhood requesting street lights and final pavement.
• Authorized a request for building permits at Town Hall Terrace for expansion but will withhold any Certificate of Occupancy until site drainage has been reviewed by the town engineer.
• Announced that the Carl Road water tower had been taken down with the cost of the demolition split between the town and the cellular company.

Town Board Action - 2007
Crop Walk To Celebrate 20 Years

By Joelle Logue

   Monday, September 17, 2007 . . .The Rev. Earle King, representing the Grand Island Ministerium, was on hand Monday to accept a resolution honoring the upcoming CROP (Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty) Walk scheduled to start for 1 p.m. September 30 in Beaver Island State Park.
   Last year, 144 NYS communities participated in CROP Walks with participants raising $866,000. Twenty-five percent of the CROP donations stay in the local communities and Grand Island’s portion helps support the Neighbors Foundation that has a long tradition of feeding families in need.
   The resolution encouraged all Island residents to support this effort.

Water Storage Tower Demolition - September 2007

Molly McMahon Photos - click for larger view

Jodi Robinson Photos - click for larger view
   September 17, 2007 . . .The demolition and steel removal of the unused water storage tank/Cingular tower at 85 Carl Road was started at 7 a.m. and completed by contractor, Iseler Demolition of Romeo, Michigan, on Monday, September 17, 2007. Approximately 110 feet tall, the tower hasn’t been used for the past 20 years. According to Town Engineer John C. Whitney, foundation removal was to take place on Tuesday. Half the cost is to be borne by Velocitel Inc. representing Cingular Wireless, Whitney said.
   The water storage tank was most likely built at the time the Grandyle Village homes on Love Road were being built in the early 1940s. Supervisor Peter McMahon said the land will used as a neighborhood play area.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - September 4, 2007

   Click for
Approved Minutes September 4, 2007 Meeting.

Grand Island Town Board Workshop - 2007

   A Grand Island Town Board Workshop will be held at 4:30 p.m. Monday, September 24, 2007 Re: Meeting with Legislator Michelle Iannello – Greenway Fund Standing Committee.

Town Board Workshop Agenda - Monday, September 17, 2007

   Click for
Town Board Workshop Agenda 9/17/07.

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Monday, September 17, 2007

   Click for
Town Board Agenda 9/17/07.

2007/2008 School Tax Bills Have Been Mailed - Sept. 2007

   Town Clerk Patricia A. Frentzel announced that the 2007/2008 School Tax Bills have been mailed. If you have changed banks, have paid off your mortgage or do not have an escrow account and did not receive a tax bill, please contact the Town Clerk’s office at 773-9600 ext. 620. The office will be open Saturday, October 13, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM. Checks should be made payable to Town Clerk. The last day to pay without penalty is October 15. Envelopes must show a legible postmark of October 15 to be accepted on time. Taxpayers should call the office for correct amounts for payments made October 16 and later. Payments can be made until November 30, 2007. After this date, payments must be sent to the County.

Automatic Water Bill Payment Available Soon - Sept. 2007

   September 10, 2007 . . .The Town of Grand Island Water Billing Office will introduce an automatic payment plan this month, making paperless water bill payment an option for Island residents.
   Enrollment in the plan is simple and free of charge. To enroll, residents can stop in to the Water Billing Office at Town Hall where authorization forms are available. Submitting this form along with a voided check authorizes the Town to withdraw scheduled payments from a designated bank account.
   Participation in this program will ensure on-time bill payment each period, and save residents postage and/or trips to Town Hall: advantages of particular benefit to seasonal out-of-towners. Informational brochures are available at Water Billing, at the Town Clerk’s Office windows, and the Town Web site, The public is asked to direct any questions to Annette in Water Billing at 773-9600 x 614 or

September 2007 National Preparedness Month

   Monday, August 20, 2007 . . .Supervisor Peter A. McMahon, proclaimed September as National Disaster Preparedness Month at the Tuesday, September 4, 2007 town board meeting. The following was written by C.E.R.T member Nicole Gerber.
   Protecting America's homeland and its people is a responsibility shared by every United States citizen. On August 30th, 2007, President George W. Bush proclaimed September 2007 as National Preparedness Month. The Town of Grand Island issues a proclamation tonight, September 4th, 2007, to officially recognize September 2007 as National Preparedness Month.
   National Preparedness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of emergency preparedness and to encourage all Americans to better prepare their homes, businesses, and communities for emergencies.
   Individuals can prepare themselves and their families for emergencies by making a personal preparedness plan, organizing an emergency supply kit, becoming informed about various disaster threats, and getting involved in community emergency preparedness. Together, Americans can significantly enhance the level of national preparedness to help protect people and safeguard communities.
   September National Preparedness Month is also an opportunity to pay tribute to America's first responders who put themselves at risk for the safety of their fellow citizens. These brave police officers, firefighters, and emergency service personnel exemplify the compassion and commitment that help strengthen our country. We will be forever grateful for their service and sacrifice.
   During National Preparedness Month, the town of Grand Island recognizes the importance of preparing for potential emergencies and encourages all citizens to become involved in individual and community preparedness efforts.

Town Board MEETING NOTICES - Sept. 2007

   Town Board Workshop - Monday, September 10, 2007 - 3:30 p.m. - Re: Legal Advice – Whitehaven Road Campground SEQR
   Town Board Workshops - Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - Thursday, September 20, 2007 - 3:30 p.m. - Re: Town Code Book Revisions
   Town Board Workshop - Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - 7 p.m. - Golden Age Center - Re: Legal Advice – Information Meeting – Commercial Vehicle Parking

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - August 20, 2007

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Approved Minutes August 20, 2007 Meeting.

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Tuesday, September 4, 2007

   Click for
Town Board Agenda 9/4/07.

Town Board MEETING NOTICE - August 30, 2007

   Town board Workshop - Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 3:30 p.m. - Re: Country Club Cottages

Town Board Action - 2007
Residents Speak Out On Campground Pond Project

By Joelle Logue

   Monday, August 20, 2007 . . .Residents, some pro and some against the proposed pond for a Whitehaven Road campground, were on hand Monday for a public hearing on whether to create a mining overlay district.
   Kristin Price of Ensol Environmental, working with developers of the campground, explained that the pond would be the primary feature of the campground, one that would have positive recreational and environmental impacts. The 7.5-acre pond, that requires a 19-acre mining overlay district to allow the construction, would be 18 to 20 ft. deep and be stocked with fish. A small beach and boat docks are planned for recreation although no motorized boats will be permitted. An 1100 ft. hall road would be built and construction of the pond would take place in 3-acre stages of mining, according to Price, and the clay taken from the dig would be used to create berms along Sixth St. that would act as sound buffers.
   Don Benoit, one of the partners in the proposed campground, spoke to his success in developing other successful campgrounds, one in Wheatfield and one in Alaska. As a resident of Grand Island and once manager of the KOA campground on the Island, his dream was to develop one in his hometown and insists it will bring much needed business in the form of tourist trade to the Island.
   Elaine Pariso, a partner in the project and a Grand Island resident, described the proposed lake as an important part of the business plan and essential to the wildlife enhancement and water recreation. She said it would be kept as natural as possible.
   Several residents spoke on behalf of the campground developers citing their integrity. Jesse Holka said Benoit had done well with the KOA when he managed it and said the project was a good draw for the Island. Joe Cinelli, a 43-year Isle resident, saw the campground as a way to keep visitors to WNY on Grand Island rather than having the Island be a thoroughfare, and Bill Torchia spoke to the need for additional camping spaces.
   But others disagreed and seemed not only to be against the pond but the entire campground project. Ed Szpala, an adjacent property owner, wanted to know if there is a safety mechanism in place to restore the land if the business venture fails. He also voiced concerns about the dust and traffic during construction and asked who would pay for any road damage.
   Supervisor Peter McMahon said that most of the residents’ questions would be answered following the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) which hadn’t been done yet and that a Surety Bond would be required by the developers for the first phase of the project.
   Ken Johnson of Whitehaven Road had traffic safety concerns and stated that Whitehaven Road shoulders were already damaged and the project would literally evict pedestrians and bikers from the road. He also cited concerns for the Thruway overpass bridge that would suffer from the increased truck traffic.
   Richard Smith of Sixth St. said the pond wouldn’t do anything for wildlife and called the whole project “ridiculous.”
   The Town Board will review the mining overlay request and McMahon urged interested residents to attend other public meetings on the project including the SEQR workshop. Written comments on the mining overlay district for the campground pond will be accepted through August 29.

Town Board Action - 2007
Town Increases Economic Development Board Membership

By Joelle Logue

   Monday, August 20, 2007 . . .The Town Board, Monday, acted on a request by the Grand Island School System to expand the membership of the supervisor’s Economic Development Advisory Board by three. New appointees are Robert Christmann, Richard Little Jr. and Glenn Bobeck. Christmann’s term will expire at the end of 2008, Little’s at the end of 2009, and Bobeck's at the end of 2010. After that three year terms will be in effect.
   Supervisor Peter McMahon will sign a letter in support of Grand Island Memorial Library’s request for a NYS Library Construction Grant to replace damaged entranceways leading to the library. The Town, which co-owns the library, has agreed to fund the non-grant share of the total project cost and will have a total of $12,000 available on August 31. The improvements will ensure patrons, especially disabled patrons, have safe access to the building.
   A request for a speed study on Webb Road will be submitted to the county and a request for increased sheriff and police presence and radar to monitor the excessive speed has come from the Traffic Safety Advisory Board.
   A public hearing has been scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday, September 4 on Grand Island’s intent to seek funding through Restore NY grants for necessary restoration at the Dunlop Building as part of the Gateway Center Development Project.
   Several Planning Board recommendations were approved. Vince and Lisa Mitchell of 3945 West River Road will be permitted to create a 17.8 acre parcel from their 22.9 acre land. The Town Board approved the final plat for Ashbrooke Court Estates – Phase I (10 lots on Long Road). And an antenna co-location for Mediaflo USA on the tower at 951 Whitehaven Road was approved along with a pre-fab equipment shelter at the base of the tower. The Board approved the combining of two lots into one by Norman Parisi on East River Road that would create one lot with frontage on East River Road, subject to all required paperwork being completed.
   A resolution was adopted for the supervisor to sign that is necessary for the Grand Island Fire Company to obtain tax exempt financing for the proposed purchase of an aerial platform ladder truck. Another resolution was adopted for a Municipal Waste Reduction Grant-in-Aid application. Funds would be used to purchase a chipper.
   In other business, the board:
• Appointed Edward Niemann an officer in the Grand Island Police Department effective August 21.
• Granted a one-month extension (until Sept. 30) for Andrew Chambers to comply for a reduced tap in fee to the sanitary sewer for his business on Grand Island Blvd.
• Renewed a special use permit for the keeping of two agricultural animals for Cathleen Shaw at 3054 Stony Point Road.
• Reappointed John McCarthy to a sixth five-year term on the Board of Assessment Review (expiring Sept. 2011).
• Referred to the Traffic Safety & Advisory Board a request by Kathleen Knezevich-Boland to lower the speed limit on The Commons from 35 mph to 20 mph.
• Authorized the supervisor to sign the HVAC Maintenance Service Agreement with M.J. Mechanical for the Grand Island Memorial Library and parks building for another year at a cost of $2000.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - August 6, 2007

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Approved Minutes August 6, 2007 Meeting.

Attention Hunters - August 2007

   Grand Island Town Clerk Patricia A. Frentzel announces that licenses are now on sale at the Town Clerk’s Office during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The application deadline for Deer Management Permits is October 1, 2007. Hunters should present a driver’s license as proof of residency to purchase license. Senior Licenses are $5.00 for hunters 65 years or older. Big Game season opening day is Saturday, November 17, 2007 for the Southern Zone. The season will close on Sunday, December 9, 2007. If you have any questions please feel free to contact the Grand Island Town Clerk’s Office at 773-9600 ext. 600.

Town Board MEETING NOTICES - August 28, 2007

   Town board Workshop - Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 3:30 p.m. - Re: Code Publisher – Town Code Revisions
   Town board Workshop - Thursday, August 30, 2007 - 6:30 p.m. - Re: GIPD

Town Board Meeting Agenda - August 20, 2007

   Click for
Town Board Agenda 8/20/07.

Town Board Action - 2007
School/Town Agreement Formalizes Facility Sharing

By Joelle Logue

   Monday, August 6, 2007 . . .The Town Board Monday authorized the supervisor to sign an inter-municipal agreement with the Grand Island School System in effect through June 30, 2009 that outlines what has already been occurring – fee-free facility and property sharing.
   The agreement indemnifies and holds harmless each party from any and all liability, damages or judgments which may arise as a result of each using the other’s facilities and requires each party to be responsible for maintaining proper supervision and appropriate records of its use. Both parties are required to have in place insurance coverage. School district and town attorneys approved the agreement that was signed by the Superintendent of Schools last week.
   According to Supervisor Peter McMahon this collaboration may lead to other cost-cutting efforts such as purchasing, maintenance and transportation. For now, the agreement mainly pertains to recreational activities. The town uses the district’s pool and gymnasiums while the school utilizes the many playing fields for its baseball and softball teams.

Town Board Action - 2007
Town To Review Architectural Review Board Considerations

By Joelle Logue

   Monday, August 6, 2007 . . .Following a public hearing at which Frank Sturniolo, Architectural Review Board chair, spoke, the Town Board Monday agreed to review Section 5-3 of the Town Code regarding a proposed change that would limit permits referred to the Architectural Review Board and the distance between structures when excessive similarity or dissimilarity arise. If passed the amendment would become local law. Copies of the proposed amendment are available for inspection in the office of the Town Clerk.
   A public hearing has been set for 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20 to air comments on the establishment of a mining overlay district for the creation of a lake at the Whitehaven Road Campground.
   The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has announced lead agency status on a State Environmental Quality Review on a permit by Russell Lent for a 6.85 clay mine planned on Whitehaven Road west of the Thruway. The Town will provide the State Environmental agency with requirements as regards setbacks, barriers to access, hours of operation, screening limitations and zoning prohibitions.
   The Town Board cited the following reasons for not approving the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Country Club Cottages:
1.  Specific details were lacking on the quality of regulated and/or regulated wetlands that are being disturbed.
2.  Specific details were lacking on geotechnical soil testing, if any, which were done on the site.
3.  Specific actions and measures were lacking to prevent differential settling of foundations.
4.  The first sentence under 12.B of Long Term Impacts indicates there may be long term impacts and that needed to be changed to “will” be long term impacts.
5.  The first full paragraph under 12.B Long Term impacts misrepresents the number of houses that can be built “as of right.”
6.  Item 12.B1.b discusses impacts but does not discuss mitigation for impacted wetlands.
7.  Item 12.B1.f should read impact “from” agriculture rather than impact “on” agriculture.
   The Town Board approved the auctioning of the following Highway Dept. vehicles in the Roy Teitsworth Auction at the Hamburg Fairgrounds October 13: a 1979 C80 Woods Rotary Mower, a 1989 D80 Woods Rotary Mower, a 1998 Ford F150 4x2, a 1989 2020 Hiway Spreader Body and a 1991 Chevrolet.
   Supervisor Peter McMahon was authorized to write a letter to government officials in opposition to a proposed change in Article X of the Public Service Law that would put in place a new state permit for the siting of power plants. The legislation would pre-empt local authority over the siting of wind-farms in favor of the state siting policy.
   In other business, the Board:
• Authorized the supervisor to renew the Economic Development Advisory Board lease for meeting space at IsleChem at a cost of $1 for the year ending Dec. 31, 2007.
• Reappointed David Unmack as part-time assessor with a six-year term beginning Oct. 1, 2007.
• Approved at bid of $117,967.90 to Fairway Construction for the replacement of the Melrose Pumping Station (#9) Forcemain on East River Road.
• Awarded a bid of $834,031 to Donald J. Braasch Construction Co., Inc. for the Bike Trail Connect Project.
• Amended the Highway Department Fund that would transfer $75,000 from the Emergency Disaster Assistance line to the highway, machinery equipment line for the purchase a new cab and chassis.
• Granted a special use renewal to National Fuel for the natural gas regulator/metering station.
• Adopted resolutions to accept the public drainage and sanitary sewer easements and to dedicate South Lane as part of River Meadows Subdivision Part V subject to approval of the town attorney, highway dept. and town engineer.
• Adopted a resolution to dedicate the stub portion of Countryside Lane in Hidden Oaks Subdivision subject to approval of the town attorney, highway dept., and town engineer.
• Announced the Grand Island Community Band and Chorus would be performing in the High School Auditorium August 9.
• Announced that the Buick Association would hold a car show at the Holiday Inn Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 11-12 and that the Moose Lodge would host a car show Saturday Aug. 11 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Town Board Action - 2007
Proclamations Salute Nat’l Night Out & Nat’l Airborne Day

(left) Council Members Sue Argy and Gary Roesch, Supervisor Peter McMahon, National Airborne members Joseph Stefaniak and Joe Synakowski, and Council Members Dick Crawford and Mary Cooke.
By Joelle Logue

   Monday, August 6, 2007 . . .National Night Out held at the newly named Klingel Town Commons Tuesday boasted a variety of activities to entertain and inform. Participants included the Grand Island Fire Company, GI Police, GI Historical Society, US Border Patrol, US Coast Guard, Parks & Recreation, Home Depot, the Youth Board and GIFTS Program to name several. Recreation Director Linda Tufillaro and Recreation Leader Dolly D’Orazio were present at the Town Board meeting Monday to accept the proclamation regarding the family-oriented event.
   National Night Out, “America’s Night Out Against Crime,” was introduced by the National Association of Town Watch in 1984 as a crime prevent event aimed at heightening awareness and strengthening participation in local anti-crime efforts. Kids activities Tuesday included face painting, crafts, child ID kits, bicycle inspections, and juggling and balloon sculptures by Gravitational Bull. Zonta sponsored a hot dog sale and there was ice cream and popcorn available.
   Joseph Stefaniak and Joseph Synakowski were also at the Town Board meeting Monday to receive a proclamation declaring August 16 National Airborne Day in recognition of the birth of the 82nd Airborne Division. Grand Island is the birthplace and final resting of Pfc. Charles N. DeGlopper who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism in World War II. Also born and buried on the Island is Lt. Col. Terrance K. Crowe, trained Airborne Trooper serving with the 98th Division and killed by hostile fire while part offensive operation in Iraq in 2005.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - July 16, 2007

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Approved Minutes July 16, 2007 Meeting.

Town Board Meeting Notice - August 2007

   Grand Island Town Board Workshops - 3:30 p.m.:
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
3:30 p.m.
Re: Town Code Book Revisions

Town Board Agenda - August 6, 2007

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August 6, 2007 Town Board Meeting Agenda.

Preservation Board Seeks Photos, Information On Pierce Farm - August 2007

   Members of the town's Preservation Board are in the process of saving the history of the Pierce Farm, "The Elms," by collecting information and photos to be used in a moving display. If you have information or photos of this 500-acre, West River Road farm, contact Sharon Nichols at 773-2421.

Long List of Activities Planned For Island's National Night Out - 2007

   Grand Island's "National Night Out" activities will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 7, 2007 at the Marion E. Klingel Town Common and Gazebo area. Featured will be the town sponsored concert, music by the Niagara Frontier Fiddle Club (7-8:30 p.m.), demonstrations and displays by the Fire Company, Erie County Sheriff's Dept., US Border Patrol, US Coast Guard and lots to see and do for the whole family. Hot dogs will be sold during the evening by members of the Zonta Club. For a complete list of activities, see "National Night Out 2007.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - July 2, 2007

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Approved Minutes July 2, 2007 Meeting.

Town Board Action - 2007
Town Commons Named In Memory of Marion E. Klingel

(left) Supervisor Peter McMahon - Guest Speaker Joelle Logue with Supervisor McMahon, Mrs. Klingel's daughter, Teddy Linenfelser, and Councilman Dick Crawford - the Town Commons sign dedicated to the late Marion E. Klingel - Mrs. Klingel's grandchildren and great grandchildren Jim Stewart, John Bidell, Jim Linenfelser and Evan Linenfelser (front), Julie Dee, Amy Bidell, Ted Stewart and Jack Stewart.
Photos by Christine Stange
Story By Joelle Logue

   Tuesday, July 17, 2007 . . .Marion E. Klingel, Grand Island’s Grand Lady, was commemorated Tuesday in a ceremony that dedicated the Town Commons in her name. Town officials, family members and close friends, and Assemblyman Sam Hoyt were on hand to pay tribute. Marion, who would have turned 100 this year, spent the lion’s share of her 94 years making a difference in this community. Tuesday’s dedication was, in a sense, a lifetime achievement award, given posthumously for her service to Grand Island that spanned all phases of Island life.
   Marion was the first fire dispatcher for the town, a charter member of the Grand Island Historical Society and Republican Women’s Club, a longtime member of Zonta International and the Golden Age Club. She was town historian for 36 years and wrote historical articles about the town for every Island publication while keeping the rest of WNY abreast of events on Grand Island by being the first correspondent to the Buffalo News.
   Marion was recognized dozens of times in her life. She was cited by the Chamber of Commerce more than any other individual or group, and saluted by the town, the county and even the state. The school district obtained a high school diploma for her at age 86 based on her body of work. She held honorary memberships in the Grand Island Teachers Association and West River Homeowners Association and was named Senior Citizen of the Year in 1991.
   Marion, a true pioneer and an incredible role model for women who came after her, played a significant role in the development and chronicling of the town’s development. Her dedicated commitment to a place she loved was personally recognized Tuesday when her great grandchildren, Amy and John Bidell and Evan Linenfelser unveiled her name on the Town Commons sign. Here is a link to Marion's Obituary

Town Board Action - 2007
Resolutions Approved For New Vactor Truck Acquisition

By Joelle Logue

   Tuesday, July 17, 2007 . . .Following a public hearing at which no one spoke, the Town Board, Monday, approved resolutions necessary for the purchase of a new Vactor truck used by the Wastewater Dept. and Highway Dept. to flush sediment from storm drainage areas and to clean out sewers with a high pressure hose. The truck, estimated to cost $275,000, will be funded through the issuance of serial bonds – 50% borne by the Consolidated Sewer District and 50% through the Highway Fund.
   A stop sign will be removed at Havenwood Lane, north of Settlers Row, as a result of a public hearing at which no one spoke. The approved action became Local Law 3 of 2007.
   Giving formal support for an SPCA grant initiative, the Town Board adopted a resolution to support the SPCA’s application for Maddie’s Fund money. This foundation awards millions of dollars through multi-year grants to animal welfare coalitions that work to avoid euthanasia for adoptable animals.
   Supervisor Peter McMahon was authorized to sign an agreement with VitalChek to provide debit/ATM services to Isle residents for transactions in the Town Clerk’s office. Also approved was an agreement with Energy Curtailment Specialists, Inc. (ECS) for ECS to voluntarily utilize the emergency back up generator at the Water Treatment Plant at times of high-energy demand in the state wide energy grid. ECS will pay the town $8/kW of curtailment plus an additional $.40/kWh during the curtailment period and will cover the cost of fuel consumed by the generator.
   Bids were awarded to Destro & Brothers Concrete Co., Inc for bituminous resurfacing of various town roads in the amount of $292,060 and to Milhurst Construction, Inc. for reconstruction of East River Road sewage pump station at a cost of $82,331.92.
   Public improvement permits were approved to construct sewer extension and private drainage for three lots fronting on Meadow Lane contingent on approval by the Erie County Health Department.
   Supervisor Peter McMahon appointed Michael Dallessandro, chairman of the Grand Island Fire Company, Inc., as a hearing officer pursuant to a public hearing that will be held regarding the Grand Island Volunteer Fire Company’s borrowing funds to acquire a fire truck from Crimson Fire, Inc. at a cost of $725,000. The public hearing, to be announced, and subsequent approval of the borrowing and issuance of obligation are prerequisites to exemption from income taxation of the interest payable under the terms of such obligation.
   Site plan approval was given to Catherine Knight for a tea house and gift shop at 2014 Grand Island Blvd. upon the following conditions: limitations of the width of the driveway of 20 ft.; addition of a berm with arborvitae to block the row of parking; the planting of two trees into the town right-of-way; dumpster screening. A site plan was also approved for a warehouse addition at 200 Industrial Drive with the condition that zoning variances be granted for 16 parking spaces and that there is a five ft. setback on the side yard.
   In other business, the Town:
• Accepted additional open space of 4.65 acres given by the River Meadows Subdivision
• Authorized support for a resolution supporting the application of a Justice Court Assistance Program Grant for Grand Island Town Court.
• Referred to the Zoning officer a letter from Raj Chopra regarding a request to rezone property at 1815 Love Road to accommodate a storage building.
• Reaffirmed final plat approval for River Meadows Subdivision, Section 5 (20 lots)
• Re-appointed Maria C. Burns as a marriage officer for a four-year term (Sept. 2007-Sept. 2011).
• Announced that the Highway Dept. has hired Lee Richard as summer help effective June 25 at a rate of $8.75.
• Accepted with regret the resignation of William Vampotic from the Traffic Safety Advisory Board.
• Announced that the Grand Island Middle School will have a team participating in the 9th Annual Battle of the Books, August 4 at ECC South.
• Announced that there will be an auction of town equipment at the Nike Base Saturday, July 21.

Town Board Action - 2007
Lynnette Bike Tour Day Declared

By Joelle Logue

   Tuesday, July 17, 2007 . . .Friends of Lynnette Grisanti came out in force Monday for recognition by the Town Board that presented a proclamation declaring July 21 as Lynnette Bike Tour Day. The annual fundraiser, now in its 14th year, is named for Lynnette and her grandson Billy Gugino, Jr. who both succumbed to cancer. All proceeds from the event benefit “Friends of Children with Cancer” at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
   A Chinese auction will be held in conjunction with the race and a preview of items will be held Friday evening, July 20 at the Nike Base.

Meeting Notice - July 2007

   The Grand Island Town Board will hold a workshop meeting at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, 2007 re: Meeting with Grand Island Police Dept.

Meeting Notice - July 2007

   The Grand Island Town Board and School Board will hold a workshop meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, 2007 in the Grand Island Senior High School.

Town Board Agenda - July 16, 2007

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July 16, 2007 Town Board Meeting Agenda.

West River Service Road Repair Work To Begin - July 2007

   According to Supervisor Peter A. McMahon, the contract to fix drainage problems and repair the West River Service Road should be awarded by the end of July. "Work could begin anytime after that," the supervisor said this week. "It's likely that the work will be completed by the end of the 2007 construction season. If that happens, the Town of Grand Island will take ownership of the road including snow removal and maintenance," he said.
   The cost of the work, which is being paid for by the State of New York, is about $1.5 million, Supervisor McMahon said.

Economic Development Advisory Board - July 2007

   The Grand Island Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) met at IsleChem on June 12th with representatives from the Golden Horseshoe Biosciences Network and Halton Business Development Centre from Southern Ontario, Canada. The Canadian groups have requested to continue a Medical Corridor initiative by identifying up to three Canadian Life Science Companies with an interest in exporting their products into the US. It is possible that one of these may eventually choose to locate a US office in Grand Island to support this international expansion. EDAB Co-Chair Mark Stramaglia, an employee of Invitrogen Corporation on Grand Island, says “Commercial Life Science business expansion in Western New York is an initiative multiple groups in our region is pursuing. Grand Island, with seven well established Life Science related businesses and an excellent location for cross border commerce, is a logical choice for involvement in this initiative.” Talks on this topic will continue and may engage additional regional resources in Western New York to assist in attracting expansion of businesses into the US and from the US into Canada.
   The EDAB is a volunteer group of citizens representing residents, employees of Grand Island businesses, the Chamber of Commerce, and a Town Board representative. This group, serving the Grand Island Town Board, is dedicated to removing obstacles to appropriate expansion of existing and new businesses on Grand Island. For additional information regarding EDAB, visit, call 716-773-9600 ext. 721, or e-mail


Meeting Notice - July 2007

   The Grand Island Town Board will meet at 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, 2007 regarding SEQR – Country Club Cottages.

Town Common To Be Dedicated To The Late Marion Klingel - July 2007

   The Grand Island Town Board has announced that the dedication of the Town Commons to the late Marion Klingel will take place 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, 2007 at the Town Commons just before the band concert featuring "The Road Runners."
    In commemoration of what would have been Marion Klingel's 100th birthday February 16, the Town Board, at its February 5th meeting, announced the dedication of the Town Common in her name and the erecting of a sign to that affect. Marion’s pioneer spirit as fire dispatcher, journalist, and founder and leader of service clubs helped put Grand Island on the map. She was instrumental in the Island’s development and chronicled its milestones and history.
"see editorial"
See "see Town Board Proclamation 2/5/07"

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - June 18, 2007

   Click for
Approved Minutes June 18, 2007 Meeting.

Town Board Agenda - July 2, 2007

   Click for the
July 2, 2007 Town Board Meeting Agenda.

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