Front Page
Events Calendar
Letters To Editor
Better Health
Book Reviews
Love Your Home
In the Service


View our Archives

Between Archives

Town News
School Board
Town Board
Lost Pets
GI Schools
Fire News
Fire Report

Sign In
Old Guestbooks

ReUnion Central

Advertise With Us
Yellow Pages
Business News

New Photos
Old Photo Album
Town History

Alumni Association
American Legion
Autism Support
Bible Fellowship Center
Bible Presbyterian Church
Boy Scout Troop #510
Boy Scout Troop #630
Bridgeview Garden Club
Buffalo Launch Club
Bus Garage
Chamber of Commerce
Cinderella Isle
  Garden Club

Community Chorus
Connor Middle School
Conservative Committee
Coop Nursery School
Cornerstone Church
Cub Pack #425
Cub Pack #630
Democratic Comm.
East Park Garden Club
Fire Company
Friends of the Library
Girl Scouts
Golden Age Center
Grand Island Farms
GI Foundation
GI High School
GI Little League
GI Soccer Club
GI Teachers Assoc.
Historic Trinity
Historical Society
Holy Name Society
(St. Stephen's)

Huth Road
Elementary School

Presbyterian Church

Jack and Jill Preschool
Jr. Viking Football
Kaegebein School
Kiwanis Club
Knights of Columbus
Knights of Columbus
Good Samaritan

League of Women Voters
Lions Club
Miracle League
Moose Lodge #180
MOPS - Mothers
of Preschoolers

Neighbors Foundation
Parent Teachers Assoc.
Recreation Department
Relay For Life
Republican Women's Club
Republican Committee
River Lea Quilters
Rotary Club
Sandy Beach Yacht Club
Sidway Reunion
Sidway School
Snowmobile Club
St. Martin-in-the-Fields
St. Stephen Church
St. Stephen
Parish Players

St. Stephen School
St. Timothy
Lutheran Church

Save The Michael's
Teddy's Islettes
Trinity UM Church
VFW 9249
West River Homeowners
Women's Club of GI
Young Life
Zonta Club

Currency Exchange
Temperament Sorter
Language Translator
Online Recipes
NYS Government
Postal Services

Yellow Page Listings
Click Above to View


Roberta Butler, L.Ac.

Mallwitz's Island Lanes

GI Auto Tech

Blue Water Marina

Grand Island Chiropractic

Riverview Chiropractic

Sara Allen, LMSW

Miss Cathy's Dance

Flower A Day

Kaiser Funeral Home

Magic Towel Holder

the M.O.G.

Diane Garey Interiors

State Farm - Bob Piatek

deSignet International

Sam Long's Landscaping

Mark J. Frentzel
Mark S. Nemeth

Aceti's Wine & Spirits
Rose Liquor

GI Chiropractic & Massage

Ray Braselton

Grand Island Optical

Morgan Plumbing Inc.

Marston Power Equipment

Century 21/Gerrie Andolina
Town Center/Betty Harris
RE/MAX-Linda Kutzbach
HUNT-Sherry McDonald
Howard Hanna
Joan Dlugokinski

John's Pizza & Subs
Ellden's at River Oaks
The Village Inn

GI Waste Management

Island Ship Center Inc.

Elderwood at Grand Island

Otto Zimmerman and Son

Town Board News - 2012

Previous Town Board News Pages

Town of Grand Island Website

Advisory Board Openings - December 2012

   The Town of Grand Island is seeking interested individuals for openings on the PARKS & RECREATION ADVISORY BOARD, the BOARD OF ETHICS REVIEW and TOWN HISTORIAN. Any member of the community who is interested in serving should submit a letter of interest, including relevant experience, education or training to Town Supervisor Mary S. Cooke, 2255 Baseline Road, Grand Island, New York 14072 or by email to townboard@grand-island.ny.us. Letters received prior to 5:00 p.m. Friday, December 28, 2012 will be considered. For additional information contact any member of the Town Board.

Town Board Action
Three Junior Viking Football Proclamations - December 2012


Left: 100 Pound Champions. Right: 120 Pound Champions.

145 Pound Champions. Click all photos for larger view.

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., December 17, 2012 . . .Proclamations were handed out to three Grand Island Junior Viking Football teams at Monday nights Town Board Meeting. The 100 lb. team won the Niagara Youth Football League Division Championship. The 120 lb. team won the Niagara Youth Football League Division Championship and the Super Bowl. The 145 lb. team also won the Niagara Youth Football League Division Championship and the Super Bowl. Many players, coaches and family members were on hand to accept the proclamations.
    The Town has applied for and been awarded a LGRMIF (Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund) Grant in the amount of $74,974. This grant will allow the Town to effectively centralize all of the Town Building Department records onto one system digitally. Two part-time Imaging Clerks will be hired and a completion date of June 30, 2013 is expected.
    Approval was given to allow budget transfers, within the same funds, of General, Highway, Sewer and Water Departments to balance for year ending 12/31/12.

In other business, the Board:
•Approved a motion to authorize Supervisor Mary Cooke to renew the Town's Computer Support Agreement with Network Services.
•Approved a change order for the Veterans Park Access Improvement Project in the amount of $1,715.85 for an additional 21 tons of blacktop that was used. During the paving operation, weather conditions deteriorated and more material was needed to complete the job. The cost will be reimbursed to the town through a grant.
•A special use permit was renewed for Terry Mesmer, 2038 Grand Island Blvd. for an auto repair business.
•A special use permit was renewed for 900 Ransom Road, for the keeping of three agricultural animals on the property.
•A request by Jack Hugill to purchase a paper street abutting his property at 2527 Bedell Road was referred to the Planning Board.
•A request to construct two single family dwellings on Sturbridge by Ryan Homes was granted with the understanding that a list of items must be complete before occupancy is allowed.

Hello Grand Islanders! - December 2012

By Supervisor Mary Cooke
Hello Islanders!
   December brings the last of our Veterans Services of the year. Please join us at the flagpole at the VFW, 2121 Grand Island Blvd. on Friday, Dec. 7 at 12 noon. We are so fortunate to have three organizations dedicated to veterans active on Grand Island: the VFW, American Legion and Disabled American Veterans. Their efforts help us remember our history and remind us to thank those who defend our freedom.
    Islanders have many chances this month to show their generosity and get into the holiday spirit. Collections for the Neighbor’s Foundation, Rotary’s Undie Sunday and many other efforts are underway with collection points all over town. Concerts at schools and churches are plentiful. Our Grand Island Community Chorus will perform on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 7 PM at St. Stephen’s Chruch, 2100 Baseline Road.
    We have been blessed with spectacular weather for outdoor events this fall. A huge crowd attended the Veterans Day Service on Sunday, November 11. The Town’s Recreation Director, Linda Tufillaro, with the assistance of several Boy, Girl and Cub Scouts organized recognition for Vietnam-era Veterans that was warmly received by all who attended. The first Chamber of Commerce “Light-Up the Boulevard” parade and celebration on Nov. 17 proved to be a very popular event with hundreds turning out to watch the parade and partake in the activities afterwards around Town Hall. Plans are already underway for next year, on the calendar for the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, 2013.
    Island residents John and Brigitte Drehs are organizing a Community Garden. Plots are open to all GI residents and businesses with a one-time registration fee of $20.00. Registration will be held on Saturday December 8 from 6 – 7:30 PM at the Community Center at the Nike Base, 3278 Whitehaven Road. More information is available at www.grandislandgardens.com, by e-mail at gi_gardens@yahoo.com or by phone 716-601-5972.
    Please pay attention to the winter parking rules that prohibit parking on the street from 2 AM – 7 AM, November 1 – April 1. Even when there is no snow these rules are in effect.
    The Reassessment Project continues on schedule. A public meeting will be held in late February with notices mailed in early March. Property owners will have two months, March and April, to meet with staff to discuss the assessment placed on their property. Most issues will be resolved during this time. The Assessment Board of Review will meet as usual on the fourth Tuesday in May.
    The Town Board unanimously adopted the 2013 Budget on Friday, November 9. The town budget consists of eight separate budgets. The General Fund and Water District Fund will see no tax rate increase. The Sewer District Fund has a 2.4% tax rate decrease. The Fire Protection District tax rate will increase by 1.9%, the Highway Fund will increase by 2.4% and the flat rate for garbage pickup for a single family dwelling will be $190, up from $183 in 2012 or a 3.8% increase. The lighting district tax varies by district and the debt service fund has no tax. Overall the tax impact to a house assessed at $100,000 will be an increase of $14.
    Please let me know of concerns you have, or suggestions for improvement in our Town. You may e-mail mcooke@grand-island.ny.us, call 773-9600 ext. 616 or stop by anytime you are at Town Hall.
    Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holiday Season! I hope 2013 is a healthy, happy and prosperous year for you and your family!

Town Board Action
Possible Sidway School Speed Zone - December 2012

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., December 3, 2012 . . .A request was made by Councilman Ray Billica to ask Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel to submit a TE-9 form to Erie County establishing a School Speed Zone on Baseline Road in front of Sidway School. This zone would comply with all applicable traffic laws and reduce the speed from 45 mph to 25 mph for the time periods of 8am - 10am and 2pm - 5pm when school is in session. The Town Board unanimously approved this request.
    Supervisor Mary Cooke was authorized to sign a professional service agreement from Audubon Architecture (Wendel) for the Water System Capital Improvement Program.
    Correspondence received from Theodore Giaquinto, Sr. regarding July 4th fireworks and fire pit useage was referred to the Town Board and Town Police for discussion.

In other business, the Board:
•Approved the Highway Department request to bid on one new 2012 10' All Season Dump Box.
•Approved Parks & Recreation Director Linda Tufillaro's request to hire a part time recreation attendant.
•At the Assessor's Office request, Anne Fahning was appointed to a 5-year term on the Board of Assessment Review to begin October 1, 2012.
•Approved a special use permit was renewed for the keeping of 3 animals on Judith Schneider's property located at 1952 Harvey Road.
•Adopted a resolution approving site plan approval for 1441 Ransom Road request for a drive-up window.

Town of Grand Island Sign Ordinance - November 2012

   Supervisor Mary Cooke, on behalf of the Grand Island Town Board announced that the Town's Sign Ordinance is being reviewed. All Grand Island businesses should contact the Code Enforcement Office before ordering any signage. Questions can be directed toward any Town Board Member or via email to townboard@grand-island.ny.us.

Town Board Action
Small Business Saturday Proclamation - November 2012

From left: Councilmen Gary Roesch, Richard Crawford, Flower A Day owner Sue Berger, Brite Ideas owner Bonnie Sciuk, Supervisor Mary Cooke, Kim Kalman, DeSignet owner Reg Schopp, Councilmen Ray Billica and Chris Aronica.

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., November 19, 2012 . . .A proclamation naming Saturday, November 24, 2012 as Small Business Saturday was presented to local merchants at the November 19th town board meeting. Small Business Saturday was founded in 2010 by American Express to help small businesses get more exposure during the biggest shopping weekend of the year.
    Town Clerk Patricia Frentzel has been awarded the New York State Town Clerks Assoc. certification as a Registered Municipal Clerk. This prestigious award recognizes the professional competency of Ms. Frentzel in fulfilling the responsibilities of her office.

In other business, the Board:
•Approved the renewal of a lease with Robert and Timothy Rockwood, 1856 Whitehaven Road for a five-year period.
•Authorized the signing of the Grant Disbursement Agreement by Supervisor Mary Cooke for engineering fees associated with the Wastewater Treatment Plan Upgrade.
•Approved Change Order #3 for the Wastewater Treatment Plant job at the final cost of $63,460. This work was done to eliminate potential backups in the two overflow retention facilities.
•Approved the renewal of a special use permit for 828 East River Road for keeping three agricultural animals.
•Approved the Planning Board denial of a request by Barbara Glinski to donate a property on a paper street (Williams Rd.) to the town. It was determined the property has no beneficial use to the Town and is a potential liability.
•Approved the following Planning Board approvals:
Splitting of one property at 2920 Grand Island Blvd. to create two lots.
Issue a special use permit to add a photography studio to 977 Ransom Road.
Split land of Smith Ventures, LP and join to an adjacent lot at 2041 Harvey Rd.
•Tabled the request of Chuck Rizzo of Parkland Enterprises for approval of a drive-up window at 1441 Ransom Road for further discussion.
•Approved a request by Norma Pukema to transfer 10' of land from 2454 West Oakfield to her son at 2438 West Oakfield.

   Grand Island High School student Kelly Raminski thanked the Town Board for the help of the GI Recreation Dept., Highway Department and Police at the 5k Race sponsored by the Student Council on Saturday, November 10th.

Town Board Action
American Legion Membership Month Proclamation - November 2012

American Legion Post 1346 accepts proclamation from Supervisor Mary Cooke.

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., November 5, 2012 . . .A proclamation naming November 2012 as American Legion Membership Month was presented to Grand Island American Legion Post 1346 at the November 5th town board meeting. It was noted that the Grand Island chapter was chartered on April 24, 1947 and reactivated on August 23, 2001.
    A public hearing was held on the preliminary 2013 Budget for the Town of Grand Island. Dan Drexilius spoke in opposition to any increases in the budget. The budget posted increases in General Fund (+2.6%), Fire Protection (+1.9%), Highway Fund (+2.4%) and a 3.8% increase in Refuse and Garbage. Drexilius noted that garbage is frequently scattered over the road after pick-up and since service is sub-par, costs should go down. Town accountant Pam Barton spoke in favor of the budget noting the average tax bill on Grand Island is lower than most in the surrounding areas. Ms. Barton also mentioned that new homes are added to the refuse rolls and are not paid until the following year's tax bills which results in an increase. Councilmen Chris Aronica and Ray Billica asked that the 2013 Budget vote to be tabled until further discussion by the board to look for ways to reduce spending.
    A special use permit application by Shannon Martino, 977 Ransom Road, to operate a graphic design and photography business was referred to the Planning Board.

   A motion to award the contract for the Permitting and Design of Bicentennial Park/Scenic Woods Trail was tabled until after discussion at an upcoming workshop.

In other business, the Board:
•Referred to the Town Board and Planning Board a request from the Conservation Commission to incorporate into the new zoning code an opportunity to review plans for clear cutting of trees on commercial property.
•Approved the New England Estates road dedication and accepted easements.
•Approved the bid of Yarussi Construction in the amount of $223,180.00 for the Whitehaven Road Sanitary Sewer Extension.
•Approved the hiring of two part time Recreation Attendants.
•Approved the hiring of Susan Siefert to the position of Full-time Payroll Clerk.
•Accepted with regret the resignation of Fay McDonald from the Board of Trustees of the GI Memorial Library.

Hello Grand Islanders! - November 2012

By Supervisor Mary Cooke
Hello Grand Islanders!
   I am very grateful that on Grand Island, damage from Hurricane Sandy ended up being less than what results from the average summer thunderstorm. Our Town Departments, GI Fire Company and Grand Island Police Department were very well prepared and I’d like to acknowledge and thank them for their ongoing efforts to keep the town running safely and smoothly.
   The new Tim Horton’s at 2366 GI Blvd. opened this morning. The fact that our Island of 20,374 residents has two Tim Horton’s locations has attracted attention. I am happy to provide statistics for bridge trips, numbers of employees at Grand Island businesses who do not live on the Island and other information to those companies inquiring about the possibility of locating on Grand Island.
   Grand Island participates in ReTree WNY and our fall tree planting will happen on Saturday, November 3 at 8:30 AM at the Ransom Village Playground off Park Lane. Dress for the weather and bring tools marked with your name. Park Lane is off Ransom Road between Stony Point Road and Tracey Lane. Take Park Lane around the curve; the playground is at the dead end of the road.
   Please get out to vote on Tuesday, November 6. Polls are open from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m., making voting convenient for any schedule. The Grand Island Memorial Library Board extended open hours on Tuesday by four hours because the library is a polling location and this year is a Presidential Election. The Library will be open on Election Day special hours 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Town Hall is closed on November 6 because this year is a Presidential Election.
   Veteran’s Day is being celebrated on Grand Island in a special way this year. The first ever Vikings for Vets 5-kilometer event will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10 at Veterans Park. Organized by the High School Student Council and the Student Advisory Council, proceeds from the event will benefit WNY Heroes, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting veterans and troops, including the disabled. The event will be held rain or shine and registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Walkers are welcome. Get race and donation forms at the Recreation Office at the Nike Base, Library, High School and at the Vets Park Concession Stand. More information at vikingsforveterans.weebly.com
   Also on Nov. 10 at Vet’s Park will be the Family Sports Obstacle Course featuring timed running, jumping, throwing, stacking, climbing, balancing and crawling for groups of four. Sponsored by the Recreation Department, entries will be taken between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. that morning with the event beginning at 10 a.m.
   The Town’s Veteran’s Day Service will take place at the Veteran’s Monument at the Bedell Road entrance to Veteran’s Park on Sunday, November 11 at 11 a.m. This year’s special salute during the program will be for Vietnam Veterans. Please contact the Recreation Department at 773-9680 or by e-mailing recreation@grand-island.ny.us by November 7 to let planners know the name of your special Vietnam Veteran and whether they will attend the ceremony or if a family member will attend in their name.
   The GI Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a new event this year to welcome the Christmas Season: “Light up the Boulevard” on Saturday, November 17. Come out to watch the parade at 5:30 p.m. along Grand Island Boulevard from Whitehaven Road to the entrance of Town Hall. Tree lighting, hot cocoa, vendors, craft activities and a visit with Santa will happen at the Town Common after the parade. Information is available from Chairperson Fran McMahon and on the Chamber of Commerce website: www.gichamber.org Hope to see you there!
   I continue to welcome your ideas and suggestions. You may call 773-9600 ext 616, e-mail at mcooke@grand-island.ny.us or stop by when you are at Town Hall.

Supervisor Mary Cooke Reports on "Hurricane Sandy" - November 2012

   Tuesday, October 30, 2012 . . .Supervisor Mary Cooke has shared the following, a response from National Grid regarding Hurricane Sandy.
   "We were most fortunate on Grand Island to have dodged most of the damage from Hurricane Sandy. We were prepared to handle all aspects of the storm, including moving residents to a community shelter, but gratefully did not need to activate any of the plans. Highway crews handled a few trees and branches in the road, and we had some minor flooding, but for Grand Island, Hurricane Sandy had less impact than a thunderstorm."
   National Grid reports that all customers with power outages in the WNY region will have service restored by 11 p.m. tonight (Tuesday, October 30, 2012).
   Schools, closed on Tuesday, will be open the rest of the week.

Island Transportation In The Early Days - November 2012

   The Town of Grand Island's Historical Preservation Advisory Board has produced a large photo display of the town's ferry boats on display is the Grand Island Memorial Library. Members of the Board are June Crawford, Carolyn Doebert, Bill Koch, Teddy Linenfelser, Shirley Luther, Sharon Nichols, Joe Macaluso and Town Board Liaison Mary Cooke.
   The Town of Grand Island Historic Preservation Advisory Board will have volunteers available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, January 19, 2013 and February 2, 2013 at the Grand Island Memorial Library, Bedell Road, to scan any pictures and/or documents you may have that will provide historical information about Grand Island. See below for full information.

Town Board Action
Laws of Grand Island Amendments Approved - October 2012

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., October 15, 2012 . . . After years of discussion, the Town Board adopted Local Law Intro No. 6 of 2012, amendments to the Grand Island Town Code. Thirty-nine different sections were affected in a process that Councilman Dick Crawford joked, "started when the seniors in attendence were in eighth grade." The new Town Code will be available for review at Town Hall and at the Library. The three public hearings elicited zero speakers in favor or against the Town Code changes, Design and Performance Standards Amendments and use of Federal Community Development funds. A Golden Age Center vehicle was mentioned as a possible use for the grant.
   Councilman Ray Billica commented on the Regional Computer Recycling & Recovery Credit. A NYS electronic equipment act that became effective January 1, 2012, prohibited electronic waste from landfills. During the first six months of this year, the Town of Grand Island recycled 53,182 pounds of electronic waste and received a check for $4,573.65 in return.
In other business, the Board:
•Referred correspondence from Time Warner Cable to the Cable & Communications Committee.
•Highway Superintendent James Tomkins promoted Highway Department Laborer Kevin Koch to Motor Equipment Operator effective October 15, 2012.
•A special use permit application by Shannon Martino of Ransom Road for an addition, was referred to the Planning Board.
•A request to split property at 2920 Grand Island Blvd. and a donation of a paper street on Williams Road was referred to the Planning Board.

Grand Island Historic Preservation Advisory Board Seeks Old Family Photos/Documents - October 2012

Click for larger view

   The Town of Grand Island Historic Preservation Advisory Board will have volunteers available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 20 at the Grand Island Memorial Library, Bedell Road, to scan any pictures and/or documents you may have that will provide historical information about Grand Island. The Board is particularly interested in pictures of Island residents and/or visitors who can be identified by the person who owns the picture, and in pictures of buildings that no longer exist on the Island.
   The Board is asking that information about the photos accompanies them. The volunteers will scan your pictures at the library and return them to you immediately.
   Have you ever wondered why your family's old home on Grand Island hasn't been featured in one of the public displays at the library or Town Hall? Would you like the rest of the Town residents to know about your grandparents or great-grandparents (or great-great-grandparents) and their contribution to the settlement of Grand Island? Here is your chance.

Water Bill Notice - October 2012

   The Town of Grand Island Water Billing Department would like to remind residents that any past due balances as of 10/31/12 will be added to the January 2013 county tax roll.

Hello Grand Islanders! - October 2012

By Supervisor Mary Cooke
Hello Grand Islanders!    
I hope everyone has seen the back of the Grand Island Plaza and the gorgeous mural that is taking shape there. GI Class of 1969 graduate Terry Klaaren and a host of helpers are working daily to transform the brick wall that faces Baseline Road. Retired Grand Island Art Teacher Lyn Laman can often be found at the site encouraging her former student and checking on the progress. Plan now to attend the official unveiling of the finished mural that is part of the Fall Fest/Taste of Grand Island at the plaza on Saturday, October 13 from 11 AM until 7 p.m. If you'd like to get involved or make a donation please contact Fall Fest organizer Corey McGowan at 341-1040.
    The Grand Island Fire Company's annual Open House will be on Friday, October 12 from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Fire Headquarters at Baseline Road and GI Blvd. Baseline Road from Whitehaven to the Blvd. will be closed to traffic to allow adequate space for the demonstrations and special displays. Stop by to check out all that the dedicated GI Volunteers have to show us.
    Please remember that your garbage and recycling should be placed at the curb 24 hours before pickup. I've taken numerous complaints about garbage and recycling sitting at the curb for several days, causing it to blow all over the neighborhood. Please be considerate.
    For years the Town Board has been trying to get a trail installed to connect the Access Road E trail to East River Road, under the south bridge, near Fisherman's Landing. This week the New York State Department of Transportation began construction! The path is on the south side of the road, next to the town's waste water lift station, and connects to the Fisherman's Landing parking lot.
    The bridge from Old Carriage House Road to Veterans Park will soon have a trail through the park passing the Rotary Gazebo and the Miracle League Field and ending at the concession stand. This is a long awaited project being built with a State Parks grant.
    The Presidential Election is Tuesday, November 6. Grand Islanders are now divided into thirteen election districts and voting will take place at eight locations around the Island from 6 AM until 9 p.m. You must be registered before you can vote; the deadline for registering is next week. Registration forms are available in the Town Clerk's Office and must be postmarked by October 12. Be sure you're registered and exercise your right (and take your responsibility) to vote on Nov. 6.
    Residents in the Town's five gas street light districts can decide whether or not they would like the now removed gas lights replaced with electric lights, and if so, the wattage and style of the electric lights. Letters indicating these options were sent to all affected and the postcard reply is due by October 10. If you live in these areas, please take a moment to let the Town Board know your wishes.

Town Board Action
Changes Coming To Time Warner Cable - October 2012

Crop Walk Proclamation - Click for larger view.
From Left: Father Earle King, Councilmen Gary Roesch, Rev. Paul Robinson, Supervisor Mary Cooke, Tom DeLoughrey, and Fred Claus.

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., October 1, 2012 . . . Customers of Time Warner Cable will be receiving a letter outlining changes to service, effective October 17, 2012. Changes, including channels CFTO CTV, CNBC,C-SPAN, E! and EWTN will now be delivered in digital format only. Other stations will change from Basic to Standard Service.
   The Town Board congratulated the Grand Island Ministerium for sponsoring the 25th Annual Crop Walk. This event will be held at Beaver Island Park on Sunday, Oct. 14th, starting at 1 p.m. See story for complete details.

In other business, the Board:
•Approved the appointment of Ronald Milks to the position of Code Enforcement Officer.
•Set a public hearing for October 15, 2012 to hear project ideas for the Community Development Block Grant.
•Authorized the Supervisor to renew the Town's insurance coverage at an estimated annual premium of $158,637.02
•Set a public hearing for October 15, 2012 to enact the codification of local laws, ordinances and certain resolutions and to also modify the Design and Performance Standards regarding Signs.
•Approved a change order for an additional $8,751.24 for the Pump Station #6 Force Main Replacement.
•Approved the renewal of the preventive maintenance contract with M.J. Mechanical Services for the Library and Parks Building located at 1715 Bedell Road.
•Approved the request of Parks & Recreation Director Linda Tufillaro to change the status of employees from part-time seasonal to part-time, for maintenance and adult & youth winter programs. Also approved the hiring of a part-time recreation attendant and three life guards.
•A revised site plan request by Rod Reisdorf, 2401 Bedell Road, was approved to include a business of "used car broker".
•A Special Use Permit renewal was approved for John Ventry, 3440 Stony Point Road, for the keeping of one agricultural animal.
•Accepted with regret, the resignation of Kevin Backus from the Board of Ethics.

Federal Community Development Grant Program - October 2012

   A public hearing will be held on October 15, 2012 at 8 p.m. in the Town Hall Courtroom, regarding the use of Federal Community Development funds in the Town of Grand Island. The Town of Grand Island is eligible for a Federal Community Development Grant under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended. The purpose of the hearing is to provide an opportunity for citizens to express community development and housing needs and to discuss possible projects that would benefit low-and moderate-income persons in the Town of Grand Island. Citizens are urged to attend this meeting to make known their views and/or written proposals on the Town of Grand Island’s selection of potential projects to be submitted for possible funding by the Federal Community Development Grant Program. The hearing will also present a review of prior community development projects and expenditures and a discussion of eligible activities. The meeting room is wheelchair accessible. Those needing special arrangements should call the Town at 773-9600 by October 12, 2012.

Town Board Action
Bids Awarded For Town Projects - September 2012

By Jodi Robinson
The Grand Island Town Board approved the awarding of a bid from Robinson Paving in the amount of $59,915.30 for the Veterans Park Access Improvement Project. This project will create a path from Old Carriage House Road to the snack stand at the park. A bid was awarded to Baughman Magic Seal for the sealing and striping of the Nike Base entrance ($3,047.00) and Veterans Park Parking Lot #1A ($2,625.00).
In other business, the Board:
•Authorized the Engineering Department to advertise for bids for the Whitehaven Road Sanitary Sewer Extension on Friday, September 21, 2012.
•Approved the Effluent Piping Modifications at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
•Approved the splitting of 6.4 acres from the Staley Road property owned by Frank Deni, conditional upon a minimum frontage of 140' at the road.
•Approved the site plan of Thomas Gould, 2625 Bedell Rd. for a bulk storage facility with the stipulation that no more than 20% of the total site acreage be used for outdoor storage.
•Approved the grant application for the purchase of security cameras and sound barriers for the court room.
•Approved the request of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce to hold a bonfire at the Town Commons on Saturday, November 17th as part of the "Light Up The Boulevard" event.
•Approved the Planning Board recommendation for site plan approval of the building of a professional office by Jim Daigler, 2620 Grand Island Blvd.
•Approved the request by the Grand Island Fire Company to close Baseline Road between Whitehaven and Grand Island Blvd. on Friday, October 12th from 5pm - 8pm for the annual Fire Prevention Open House.
•Accepted with regret the resignation of John White from the Parks & Recreation Board.

School Tax Bills Sent - Sept. 2012

   Town Clerk Patricia A. Frentzel announced that the 2012/2013 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 regular office hours are 8:30am - 5:00pm. The office will be open Saturday, October 13, 9:00 AM - 12:00 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, 2012. After this date, payments must be sent to the County.

Hello Grand Islanders! - September 2012

By Supervisor Mary Cooke
   With Labor Day celebrated and students back in school please take extra care in your travel around bus stops and school entrances. Allow a bit of extra time so you can slow down and pay enough attention to keep yourself and everyone around you safe.
   Welcome back to students and teachers and a special welcome to new students and the teachers who were hired over the summer and who are beginning their first year of teaching on the Island. Last month I had the pleasure of taking a short bus tour of the Island with the new teachers and giving them a bit of our history. I wish everyone at our schools a most successful year!
   This weekend brings the Antique and Classic Boat Show to our island at the Buffalo Launch Club. Check out the beautiful boats on Saturday when a small parking fee gets you into the free show. A car show, flea market, raffles, boat races and plenty of refreshments are also part of the festivities.
   Cigar Dave was a guest on Grand Island on August 18 and broadcast live from the Buffalo Launch Club to his 90 syndicated radio stations, including WBEN 930 in Buffalo. It was the second largest live broadcast for the show with over 400 in attendance. Many of the guests were here for the first time and were most impressed with our beautiful Island. With the great success of this initial run I would not be surprised if it becomes an annual stop on the Cigar Dave tour.
   I was honored to attend the 50th anniversary celebration of Invitrogen on Staley Road last month that included a presentation of the history of the company, a tour of the facility and an elegant party held in their atrium. Grand Island is most fortunate to have this large, well-established biological company that serves customers all over the world and I wish them many more successful years.
   The Grand Island Historical Society was formed in 1962 and at this week's Town Board Meeting we proclaimed September “GI Historical Society Month.” There are many exciting and informative programs planned for the coming year. Be sure to check them out here on isledegrande and get involved in this worthwhile volunteer organization. The home for the Historical Society is River Lea, the 1873 farmhouse at the south end of Beaver Island State Park. If you've never been there make plans to attend an upcoming program or event to check out this historic treasure.
   Our town has a very active American Legion, Post #1346 celebrating 65 years of success in 2012. Their members are holding a poppy sale in honor of Patriot Day-Remember 9/11/2001 this Friday and Saturday at locations all around the Island. Give a donation and wear a poppy to show your support. A service to mark the 11th anniversary of September 11 will be held on Tuesday at 7 PM at the flagpole at the Charles N. DeGlopper Post #9249 VFW at 2121 Grand Island Blvd. I hope you will stop by.
   Because Tuesday is 9/11, the primary election was moved to Thursday, September 13. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Grand Islanders in five political parties have elections: Democratic, Conservative, Independence, Republican and Working Families. If you are enrolled in any of these parties, exercise your right to vote and get to the polls next Thursday.
   I am interested in hearing from you with any ideas or suggestions you may have. Stop by the office when you're at Town Hall, call 773-9600 ext. 616 or e-mail mcooke@grand-island.ny.us

Town Board Action
Special Use Permits Renewed - August 2012

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., August 20, 2012 . . . A special use permit for the National Fuel Gas metering station at 1589 Stony Point Road was one of three permits renewed Monday evening. The others were, keeping up to 10 agricultural animals on 50 acres at 5345 East River, and a tower permit for Upstate Cellular on West River.
    A public hearing for the bond resolution of improvements of water facilities was commented on favorably by resident Bob Kumm, then approved by all Town Board members present. Richard Crawford was excused from the meeting.
   Revisons and updates were announced for the 2012 elections. The State of New York has decided not to have the primary election on 9/11. The date has been changed to Thursday, September 13th. The General election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 6th.
In other business, the Board:
•Authorized the Supervisor to sign an agreement with BSI Online for the "Backflow Prevention Program" at an annual fee of $495.
•Awarded Amherst Paving the Bituminous Resurfacing project bid at the cost of $223,353.60.
•Awarded Regent Corp. the Kaegebein Tennis Courts repairs bid at the cost of $8,923.00.
•Approved the part-time hire of Larry Slovick and Sean Donavan at the Parks & Recreation Department for replacement of maintenance staff going back to school.
•Approved the recommendation of the Planning Board for site plan approval and change of use for Cheri's Goldmine, 2600 Grand Island Blvd.
•Approved the recommendation of the Planning Board for site plan approval of Fresenius Kabi, 3159 Staley Road, for a new storage building and parking lots.
•Tabled for thirty days, the site plan approval for a professional office, to be constructed at 2620 Grand Island Blvd.
•Approved the recommendation of the Planning Board for site plan approval for the expansion of the parking area at SCAP, 1939 Grand Island Blvd.
•Tabled a request for a public hearing for the Gun Creek PDD until the Planning Board approves a revised site plan.
•Approved the request of the Grand Island Relay For Life, permission to use Veterans Park for Relay 2013, as the Grand Island High School track will be under construction.

Town Water Restrictions Dropped - July 2012

    Press Release....8/22/12
The Town Board of the Town of Grand Island is pleased to report we are past the need for voluntary restriction of water consumption. Adequate pressure is now being maintained in the system for effective fire fighting, and every day domestic use. We are grateful to Grand Island residents for their attention to the recent restrictions, and their responsive actions of being conservative and thoughtful with their water use.

Town Board Action
Proclamation For National Airborne Day, Life Technologies,
Benjamin & Michael Soos - August 2012

From Left: Councilmen Gary Roesch and Dick Crawford, Supervisor Mary Cooke, Joe Synakowski, Kelly Carrigg, Councilman Chris Aronica.

Members of VFW, DAV and American Legion with Town Board announcing resolution.

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., August 6, 2012 . . .The Town of Grand Island has designated August 16th as National Airborne Day. In the proclamation presented at Monday night's Town Board meeting, it was noted that two fallen soldiers from Grand Island were part of the Airborne Division. Pfc Charles N. DeGlopper, Medal of Honor awardee who fought in WWII and Lt. Col Terrance Crowe who was killed in Tal Afar, Iraq on June 7, 2005.
   The Town Board extends congratulations to Life Technologies on their 50th anniversary. The company began as GIBCO (Grand Island Biological Company) in 1962, making serum harvested from horses raised on their land.
   Proclamations honoring new Eagle Scouts Benjamin and Michael Soos were announced. The scouts were not in attendance as they were at their awards ceremony. The proclamations were going to be hand delivered by Supervisor Mary Cooke after the Town Board meeting.
   Members of the VFW, DAV and American Legion were on hand to support a resolution to establish a Veterans Cemetary in Knox Farm State Park.
    A public hearing was held for the road closure of South Lane on Saturday, September 8, 2012 for a block party.
   Supervisor Mary Cooke has sent a letter to NOCO Energy voicing Grand Island support of a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station on River Road in the Town of Tonawanda. Councilman Gary Roesch noted that the cost of diesel fuel is $4.00 and the cost of CNG is $1.00. If the fueling station is built, the town would consider converting town vehicles to CNG which would benefit the environment, reduce dependency of foreign oil and be an economic benefit.
In other business, the Board:
•Approved the adoption of a bond resolution of $500,000 for improvements to Alvin Road, Marilyn Drive, Monica Road, Woodlee Lane and Jenell Drive.
•Approved the adoption of a bond resolution of $110,000 for the Veteran's Park Access Improvement Project. This project includes the construction of an asphalt path from the Old Carriage House bridge to the back of the concession stand. A grant is forthcoming that will cover 80% of the project.
•Ordered a public hearing for August 20, 2012 to consider a bond resolution for the improvements of facilities of Consolidated Water District including painting the Town Water Treatment Plant and Whitehaven Road Water Tank.
•Approved the appointment of Kenneth Kinderman as Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator.
•Approved the request to advertise for bids, Veterans Park Access Improvement Project.
•Approved Change Order No. 2 to Contract 1 of the Preliminary Treatment Facility and Wastewater Treatment Plant Job resulting in a decrease to contract of $47,059.
•Approved the renewal of a special use permit by Patricia Burg of Stony Point Road for keeping 2 agricultural animals.
•Approved the request by Grand Island High School Student Council and Student Advisory Council to use Veterans Park on November 10, 2012 for a 5k run.
•Accepted with regret the resignation of Rochelle Smith from the Commission for the Conservation of the Environment.
•Suspended rules in order to approve a change in the Final Plat of New England Estates located adjacent to the Bishops Gate area. The plan will now be broken up into two phases, Phase 1A to be the development of 20 lots and Phase 1B the development of 16 lots.

Hello Islanders! - August 2012

By Supervisor Mary Cooke
   Thanks for your considerate and conservative use of water during this summer of extended dry weather. We have yet to get enough rain to move us out of the voluntary water use restrictions and may not until fall. With a three-prong effort of using less, pumping the maximum from the river and purchasing water from the Niagara County District we are maintaining pressure levels needed for effective fire fighting. Your help is most appreciated since using less water is 1/3 of the equation to get us safely through this dry summer.
    At Monday's Town Board Meeting we will present a proclamation to members of the 82nd Airborne in honor of National Airborne Day celebrated in the United States since 2004 on August 16. We do this every year because Grand Island is the final resting place of two Islanders who, as members of the 82nd Airborne, were killed in action defending our country. Pfc. Charles N. DeGlopper was killed in LaFiere, France on June 9, 1944 and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Lt. Col. Terrance K. Crowe gave his life for his country in Tel Afar, Iraq on June 7, 2005.
   During the good weather when so many are making home improvements please remember that the state building code (which the town must enforce) requires numbers on your home that can be seen from the road. Minimum size of the numbers is 4” high. Numbers on the mailbox do not satisfy this requirement unless the mailbox is attached to the house. With school starting next month please get this job done to make the school bus driver's job easier. Also, making it easier to find your house by having numbers visible from the road will save valuable moments when emergency responders are trying to locate you.
   Thank you to the many volunteers who help the town in so many ways. The newly installed playground equipment in Ed Ball Park (corner of Stony Point and Love roads) and the trees and gardens there would not be possible without the cooperation and help of volunteers working along side town employees. Grand Island Little League Board members weeded the roundabout on Saturday morning. What a transformation! Too many volunteers to mention are filling water bags on trees and helping to water trees and plants to keep them alive. Tower Park on Carl Road was weeded and spruced up earlier this summer. If you're interested in joining the effort, please let me know. We can use your help!
   Grand Island, along with the NYS Department of Transportation, the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Niagara River Greenway Commission sponsored a very successful 7th annual Paddles Up event last weekend in Beaver Island Park. This event grows each year and provides an excellent opportunity to test paddle sport equipment and get out and enjoy the river. The Island's Historical Society held a fundraiser lunch for interested paddlers and the Black Rock Historical Society brought their displays about Buffalo and the War of 1812 to River Lea as part of the festivities. Stop by the kiosk in the lower lobby of Town Hall for a “Paddles Up Niagara Trail” brochure that provides a wealth of information and a great map showing the canoe/kayak route around the island and all of the public launch/recovery sites.
   National Night Out will happen in the Town Common on August 7 beginning at 6:30 PM. In addition to the weekly concert, several groups will have safety information and you can learn about starting a neighborhood watch in your area. The Fire Company will host a chicken barbeque fundraiser. Hope to see you there!
   I continue to welcome your ideas and suggestions. Please contact me at 773-9600 ext. 616 or at mcooke@grand-island.ny.us


8:00 a.m., Friday, August 3, 2012
  1. Police – Chris Soluri
  2. Code Enforcement – Doug Learman
     a. Staffing
     b. ZBA notifications
  3. Computer purchases
  4. Set meeting dates
     a. Capital Plan
     b. Employee Evaluation
     c. Insurance

Town Water Restrictions Update - July 2012

    The Town Board is grateful to Grand Island residents for their attention to the voluntary water use restrictions. Adequate pressure is being maintained in the system for effective fire fighting during this extended period of very dry weather because Grand Islanders are being conservative and thoughtful with their water use. Thanks for your continuing help on this issue. We will keep the voluntary water restriction in place as long as needed.
   The Town is also following the water use restriction on our property and only areas identified as a priority will be watered. It is very stressful for turf to begin to be watered and then to have no water. Unless it’s a priority area the turf will not be watered and will be allowed to go into dormancy.
Areas of priority that will be watered:
1.  Infields of baseball diamonds at Veteran’s Park so they can be aerated and seeded.
2.  Veteran’s Park football field because it’s been aerated and seeded and needs to grow.
3.  Multi-use fields to the north of the football field that are currently being used for soccer and will be used as the practice field for football because they will get no down time.  They have been used since early spring and will continue to be used into the fall.
4.  Sod area around Miracle League complex so we don’t lose the sod. 
5.  Softball diamonds #9 and #10 at Veteran’s Park because without water the surface mixture becomes like concrete and cannot be used. 
5.  Plants at Fisherman’s Landing so they are not lost.
6.  Trees throughout the town using water bags.
   All watering, except the water bags, will end by noon. Again, we appreciate your cooperation during this very dry summer.

Town Board Action
Proclamation For Kelly's Country Store- July 2012

From Left: Councilmen Gary Roesch and Dick Crawford, Supervisor Mary Cooke, Sean Kelly, Councilmen Ray Billica and Chris Aronica

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., July 16, 2012 . . .A proclamation was presented, congratulating Sean Kelly on the 50th Anniversary of the opening of Kelly's Country Store. Grandfather Walter S. Kelly founded the store in 1962 on Grand Island Blvd. Kelly's is known far and wide for their delicious candy and Christmas and Easter rooms celebrating those holidays.
    A public hearing was held for the adoption of the "Code of the Town of Grand Island." Island resident Dorothy Westhafer spoke in opposition. The code is "getting close, but is not ready to be adopted" said Supervisor Mary Cooke. It was referred back to the board for discussion.
   Approved a change order in the amount of $16,683.13 for the Safeways to School project at LaSalle & Broadway. A willow tree had to be removed to allow the new sidewalk to be installed in a safe location and an additional 2,500 sq.ft. of sidewalk repair work is scheduled.
   The Town Board approved two budget amendments. The first was the acceptance of a NYS Grant in the amount of $1,026 to reimburse the town for the purchase of bullet proof vests for town officers. The second was the acceptance of a donation from the GI Little League in the amount of $12,500 to share the cost of new fencing in Veteran's Park.
   In the public comment section:
Dorothy Westhafer encouraged the businesses on Grand Island Blvd. to water their trees.
Three residents of S. Marlin Road spoke of many different issues affecting their neighborhood. Calvin LaMar was curious as to why the street name had been changed in recent years to Marlin Drive. He also spoke of starting a leaf recycling program. Julianne LaMar was concerned about the speed limit in the neighborhood being too fast and of a nearby residence that was unkempt and had rodents. Rose Heigel also spoke of the residence, stating it was not being properly maintained.
In other business, the Board:
•Referred to Bond Counsel the proposed 2012 Highway Resurfacing Program, anticipated to be bonding of $500,000 over a five year period.
•Approved the request to advertise for bids for the Bituminous Resurfacing of various town roads.
•Approved the renewal of a special use permit for parking at the Sandy Beach Yacht Club.
•Approved the special use permit to allow Jeffrey Matthews to permit motor vehicle repair in a M-2 zone.
•Set a public hearing date of August 6th for a block party on South Lane.
•Suspended the rules to approve the hiring of Brian Clarkson as Senior Engineer Assistant effective July 18, 2012.

Town Announces Limited Water Use - July 2012

Press Release . . . Tuesday, June 12, 2012
   Due to the extremely dry weather and high demand on our public water system, the Town of Grand Island Water Department is asking residents and businesses to voluntarily reduce their water consumption. We are asking that you minimize the amount of water used by eliminating lawn sprinkling and car washing during this dry period. Your cooperation in this effort is greatly appreciated.
   Fire Chief Kevin Koch joins Town officials in urging residents to discontinue any unnecessary use of water, which could further reduce lowered water reserves. Outdoor “recreational” fires also pose increased hazards due to super dry ground conditions and should be put on hold for the time being.
   These simple common sense precautions will help your Grand Island Fire Company handle any major fire emergencies that might occur.

Hello Islanders! - July 2012

By Supervisor Mary Cooke
   It was great to see so many of you out along Grand Island Boulevard on Wednesday for the Kids Race & Dick Bessel Independence Day Run and the 37th annual July 4th parade! Recreation Director Linda Tufillaro and the Parks and Recreation staff, along with the GI Police, Erie County Sheriff Deputies and Grand Island Highway Department deserve a huge thank you for all their work to make the day a huge success.
    Fantasy Island hosted Grand Islanders with free admission at 5 PM on July 4th and finished the evening with a giant fireworks display. A huge thank you to the fireworks corporate sponsors: Keyser Cadillac, Life Technologies, Inc., Martin’s Fantasy Island, Mighty Taco, Niagara Falls KOA, Pritchard & Kennedy-Attorneys at Law, Sahlen Hot Dogs, Starline USA, Inc. and Try-It Distributing. Be sure to tell them how much you enjoyed the show.
    The updated Town Code has been a long time coming! A public hearing will be held on July 16 at 8 PM, part of the next Town Board Meeting. The code book is available online at gigov.com and there are hard copies at the library and at Town Hall. Take a look and let us know what you think.
   I’m very pleased to report that the Town has received restitution from two individuals involved in making graffiti on Grand Island. This is a serious issue and consumes many hours of time from the highway workers who clean it off signs and have to replace the signs to the detectives and other law enforcement officers who investigate these crimes, to the court system that deals with the aftermath of an arrest. I’ve had contact with the District Attorney’s Office and will prepare and submit a victim impact statement on behalf of the town for a sentencing in a graffiti case that is scheduled for August. Getting a case to this point requires an incredible amount of work and cooperation among citizens, town workers and law enforcement. Thanks to everyone who is involved with trying to solve this blight on our beautiful Island.
   The summer band concerts have begun. Check out the schedule here on isledegrande.com or at the Town’s website: gigov.com Concerts run until August 14 with rain dates on Thursdays of the same week. Head over to the Town Common on Tuesday nights at 7 PM to hear a wide range of great music.
   The Grand Island Memorial Library is full of things to do this summer for all age groups. Summer Reading Programs for kids of all ages get underway next week and adult computer classes will be held Friday mornings on July 13 – August 17. A special eReader Open Lab will be held on Monday, July 23 where you can bring your Kindle, Nook, iPad or other e-Device and learn to borrow e-Books from the library. Grand Island is one of only a few libraries in the county system that is hosting this event. Battle of the Books for readers in grades 5 – 9 culminates with a county-wide competition at ECC South on August 4. Call the library at 773-7124 for details.
    The 100th anniversary of the Eagle Park Resort dock collapse was remembered on Sunday, July 1 at the Whitehaven Overlook along the West River Parkway. Stop by and look at the plaque, made by NYS Parks and erected in a garden at the overlook, which describes the worst marine disaster in Western New York. The commemoration was organized by June Crawford, a member of the Grand Island Historic Preservation Advisory Board and was jointly sponsored by the Town, State Parks, West River Homeowner’s Association and the GI Historical Society. A great example of cooperation!
   Grand Island is hoping to establish a Sister City relationship with Amfreville, France, the town where PFC Charles N. DeGlopper gave his life in WWII. A letter will be delivered to their mayor next week by Kelly Carrigg, a 82nd Airborne veteran and member of the DeGlopper VFW Post here on Grand Island who is visiting France. I’ll let you know of our progress.
   It is always a pleasure to honor Islanders who have gone above and beyond in their endeavors and at Monday’s Town Board meeting we were privileged to deliver proclamations to Christopher J. Dlugokinski and Jacqueline Sosnowski. Christopher received the Newton-Azrak Award, the highest award bestowed upon Border Patrol Agents, in Washington, D. C. in March. He was first on the scene of a fatal accident after a logging truck went out of control and lost its load of logs. The logs rolled into the home of a fellow Border Patrol Agent wiping out the first floor, killing a 4 year-old. Christopher was able to help rescue the other 4 family members. Jacqueline earned her Girl Scout Gold award for the “Giving Tree Project” that helped all the clubs in a school raise funds using an e-Bay based marketing system. Congratulations to both!
   Please continue to stay in touch, especially if you have a suggestion that will improve our town. I welcome your ideas and am available at Town Hall, by phone (773-9600 ext. 616) and by e-mail at mcooke@grand-island.ny.us

Town Board Action
Proclamations For Jacqueline Sosnowski & Christopher Dlugokinski- July 2012

From Left: Supervisor Mary Cooke, Jacqueline Sosnowski, Girl Scout leaders Sherry Moss and Joan Gasiorek

From Left: Supervisor Mary Cooke, Christopher Dlugokinski, parents Joan and James Dlugokinski.

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., July 2, 2012 . . .A proclamation congratulating Jacqueline Sosnowski for earning her Girl Scout Gold Award began the July 2nd meeting. Jacqueline is a member of Scout Troop 10734 and has been a Girl Scout for 13 years. She is a Lifetime Scout and has completed over 150 hours of community service and 50 hours of leadership service for the "Giving Tree Club." The club is an organization to assist all clubs within a school to raise funds for their needs by using an e-Bay based marketing system.
   The second proclamation was given to Border Patrol Agent Christopher Dlugokinski in recognition of his being awarded the Newton-Azrak Award from the U.S. Border Patrol. He was recognized for his part in a courageous rescue effort undertaken on July 19, 2011. See story.
    A public hearing was held for the application of a special use permit by Jeff Matthews to operate a motor vehicle repair service in an M-2 zone. There were no speakers either in favor or against and the application was referred to the Planning Board for consideration.
    Approved the authorization of Supervisor Cooke to sign an application for funds from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for an amount not to acceed $400,000 for the Scenic Woods - Bicentennial Park Project.

In other business, the Board:
•Approved Change Order No. 2 for extra work for the Waste Water Treatment Plant SCADA System.
•Approved the application by Shawn & Joelle Boyle, requesting site plan approval for excavation and grading activites contingent on permission for a successful easement.
•Approved the adjustment of hourly pay for Louis Panzicka from $8.00 to $8.10.
•Approved the renewal of a special use permit for Jennifer Tirone of Ransom Road for keeping four agricultural animals.
•A letter from the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce regarding a new community event called "Light Up The Blvd." was referred to the Recreation Department and Town Board for discussion. The kick off of the event would take place on Saturday, November 17, 2012 with a Holiday Light Parade.

Town Board Action
Proclamation Congratulates John's Pizza - June 2012

From Left: Councilmen Gary Roesch and Dick Crawford, Supervisor Mary Cooke and Mark Raepple

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., June 18, 2012 . . .A proclamation congratulating John's Pizza on "30 years of quality and service" was presented on Monday evening to owner Mark Raepple. Grand Islanders Gene Mongan and Kurt and Jay Raepple are also owners of the four store business. Also noted in the proclamation was the development of the Chicken Finger Sub in 1983 that is "practically world famous."
    The Town Board approved the amendment of Chapter 49, Town Zoning Code, to allow motor vehicle repair services in the M-2 Zone. At School Superintendent Robert Christmann's suggestion, the Town Board approved the appointment of GISD Director of Finance, Joe Giarrizzo and Director of Buildings and Grounds, Tom Rachow to the Town's CERT Committee for the remainder of 2012.
    A public hearing was scheduled for July 16th to consider a local law to provide for "the codification of the local laws, ordinances and certain resolutions of the Town of Grand Island into a municipal code to be designated the "Code of the Town of Grand Island." A copy can be reviewed at the Town Clerk's office or online at www.gigov.com.
   The Local Law Intro #2 - Signs was referred to the Town Board to compile the comments from the Planning Board and residents and will be included in the public hearing July 16th.

In other business, the Board:
•Approved the renewal of HVAC Preventive Maintenance Contract with M.J. Mechanical for the next two years.
•Approved the proposed Water System Improvements, Painting Projects.
•Approved the renewal of a special use permit for Gail Villani of East River Road.
•Approved the application of Crown Castle for a tower permit for 318 Baseline Road.
•Approved the Planning Boards recommendation to waive the subdivision regulations so that Robert Mesmer of 2548 Love Road can purchase 4.82 acres from a neighbor and merge the lots making one parcel.
•Approved the building addition to GP 50, 2770 Long Road.
•Approved the Zoning Boards recommendation to not support the request to rezone the property of William Davis of East River Road.
•A discussion will be scheduled for the Town Board to talk about the Verizon Wireless Sandy Beach Cell Site in Veteran's Park which needs the approval of the New York State Legislature.

Hello Islanders! - June 2012

By Supervisor Mary Cooke
   I am most pleased to have an opportunity each month to let isledegrande readers know what is happening from my view of the town. Thank you Reg and everyone at Grand Island’s internet news source!
   Much energy has been spent in the past few weeks trying to convince the New York State Thruway Authority to keep the Grand Island EZ Pass Walk-In Center open. While I appreciate the need to economize I have emphasized that an alternative for cash paying customers to reload their EZ Pass should have been in place BEFORE the Walk-In Center closed. The other concern is resolution of tag malfunctions. I’ve told the Thruway Authority that we need to have quick and “in person” methods in place since the bridges are the only way for Grand Islanders to get home and being without EZ Pass is a costly inconvenience. As many residents have reminded me, when EZ Pass replaced the bridge ticket books twenty years ago, the Thruway Authority promised Grand Islanders that they would have a place on the Island to reload their tags and to solve any problems that arose. Thanks to everyone who has stopped by or been in contact with me and the rest of the Town Board on this issue. Thanks as well to the elected officials representing Grand Island at the county, state and federal levels; they have been most helpful in connecting Grand Island to the appropriate Thruway Authority personnel and communicating the concerns of our citizens.
   I’m disappointed that the Walk-In Center closed last Friday. The Thruway Authority is arranging retail outlets that will accept cash for EZ Pass tag reloading and resolve tag problems; as soon as we have information about a location on Grand Island we will let you know. In the meantime you need to visit the Thruway Authority Headquarters in Cheektowaga on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12 noon until 4 PM to handle these situations.
   Memorial Day weekend brought over 400 Judo enthusiasts to Grand Island for the 40th annual AM-CAN International Judo Challenge. I was there in the high school gym with Mr. Christmann for the opening ceremony on Saturday morning. It was very impressive to have members of the High School Wind Ensemble under the direction of Mr. Allen on hand to play the American and Canadian National Anthems. The group very much appreciated the warm welcome they received and are already looking forward to coming back next year.
   Grand Island’s Memorial Day Service was well attended and a wonderful tribute to those who gave their lives for our freedom. The morning began at 7:40 at Whitehaven Cemetery on East River Road with the Charles N. DeGlopper Post #9249 Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guard and Chaplain conducting a short service. Included this year was “echo” Taps played live by trumpeters and brothers Mark and Will Hughes. All six Grand Island cemeteries were visited and at all locations residents and loved ones of those buried in the cemetery joined the veterans and musicians for the service. If you haven’t had the chance to experience one of these cemetery services make an effort to get there next Memorial Day.
    July 4th is quickly approaching and Grand Island’s 37th annual Dick Bessel Independence Day Run begins with the Kids Race at 9 AM, the 2.3 mile race/walk at 9:15 followed by the parade. Many units in the parade carry an American Flag and I’d like to remind everyone of proper etiquette for a parade viewer when a marcher is carrying a flag: remove your hat if you’re wearing one, stand and salute. The VFW hosts their annual party after the parade and in the evening be sure to check out the fireworks at Fantasy Island. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at this year’s festivities!
    Thanks to everyone who has stopped by the Supervisor’s Office to say hello and give suggestions on improvements for our town. I welcome your ideas and am available there, by phone (773-9600, ext. 616) and by e-mail at mcooke@grand-island.ny.us

New EZ Pass Payment Information - June 2012

   Press Release . . . Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Supervisor Mary Cooke has announced the following, "In the aftermath of the Grand Island E-Z Pass Walk-In Center closing on June 8, 2012, Grand Island residents, who need to utilize cash to make payments on their E-Z Pass accounts, have the option of physically going to the NYS Thruway Authority office at 455 Cayuga Drive - Suite 800, Cheektowaga, NY 14225 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from noon to 4:00 p.m. See the information sheet and map for complete details.

Town Board Action
Town Board Adopts Local Law #1 of 2012 - June 2012

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., June 6, 2012 . . .On a very quiet Monday evening, the Town Board approved the adoption of a local law amending the Town Zoning Code to remove Schedule II (schedule of lot and area requirements in north, south and central building districts). This law also establishes maximum building height and front yard setbacks in the same business districts. The Town Board approved a resolution by Supervisor Mary Cooke to postpone the closing of the Grand Island EZ Pass Walk-In Center until another alternative is found for cash customers and tag problems. Councilman Ray Billica suggested changing the wording from postpone the closing to keep the EZ Pass office open.
In other business, the Board:
•Approved the resolution establishing the standard workday for recently elected and appointed officials in accordance to the new New York Stare requirements.
•Accepted with regret the resignation of Senior Engineer Assistant Dean Franklin.
•Approved the the hiring of recreation attendants Carleen Conway (Tennis Instruction) and Dominique DeGregorio (Sports Clinic).
•Approved the changing of status of Parks and Recreation employee Dave Williams from Part Time (19 hrs per week) to Part Time seasonal (40 hrs per week).

EZ Pass Closing Hot Topic - June 2012

Councilman Dick Crawford, Assemblyman John Ceretto, Supervisor Mary Cooke and Councilman Ray Billica

Press Release

Statement Concerning Closing Island's EZ Pass Walk In Center - May 2012

by Supervisor Mary Cooke
   May 24, 2012 . . .Since the NYS Thruway Authority announced earlier this month that the EZ Pass Walk In Center on Grand Island will be closing on June 8, elected officials have fielded numerous inquiries and heard from many concerned residents. My prompt response to this announcement was to initiate fact-finding conversations to find a solution. Thruway Authority representatives have explained that the only office remaining open will be Staten Island because that is the EZ Pass Call Center, and also the building is shared with four other entities.
   While I appreciate that one can purchase an EZ Pass at two locations on Grand Island, Tops and Wilson Farms, the problem is that adding money to an existing account (reloading) is possible online only, creating an impossible situation for EZ Pass holders who do not have access to a computer, or do not have use of a credit card.
   I am in almost daily contact with the Thruway Authority about this problem, stressing our sense of urgency that the lack of EZ Pass services is a serious detriment to our community. Also, I am pressing upon them repeatedly that we are in a unique situation here on the Island, and need a local solution for our dependency on EZ Pass. They are exploring options to have a reloading site on Grand Island. I am urging them to get this in place before they close the existing EZ Pass Walk In Center.

Town Board Action
Proclamations Awarded To Students, Coast Guard Auxiliary, VFW Buddy Poppy Days - May 2012

Supervisor Mary Cooke, Lenny Fike, mother and father, Brenda & Lenny Fike.

Supervisor Mary Cooke, Donald Brant, Father Donald Brant Jr. and Paul Avery accepting for son Michael.

From left: Councilmen Gary Roesch, Dick Crawford, Supervisor Mary Cooke, Coast Guard Auxiliary Volunteer Paul Leuchner, Councilmen Ray Billica and Chris Aronica.

Supervisor Mary Cooke, VFW Commander Mike Mehltretter, Spence O'Boyle and Jerry Korzen.

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., May 21, 2012 . . .Five proclamations were presented at the May 21st Town Board meeting. Grand Island High School/BOCES Kenton Career Technical Center student Lenny Fike finished third place in New York State in the SkillsUSA competition for Automotive Refinishing Technology and is now eligible to compete in the national competition in Kansas City, MO in June. Proclamations were also awarded to Grand Island High School/BOCES Kenton Career Technical Center students, Donald Brant and Michael Avery who won a regional competition in January that allowed them to compete in the 2012 National Automotive Technology Competion in April. The Avery/Brant team came in eighth place out of 29 teams and brought home over $30,000 in prizes and scholarships.
   A proclamation was given to the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary to celebrate 2012 WNY Safe Boating Week, May 19 - May 25, 2012. Each boat passenger should have a proper-sized life jacket while on board. The Town Board proclaims May 24, 25 and 26, 2012 VFW Buddy Poppy Days on Grand Island and urges citizens to contribute to the poppy distribution on those days.
   A public hearing to consider the closing of Alt Blvd. between Love Rd. and 994 Alt Blvd. to traffic for a block party on July 11th, between the hours of 5pm and 9pm was approved. A local law amending Chapter 49 of the Town Zoning Code, to allow motor vehicle repair service in the M-2 Zone was referred to the Town Board for further discussion. Island resident Diane Dinsmore spoke in opposition of the amendment, while the Planning Board recommended approval. A request for an extension for the paving of a parking lot at Island Pet Lodge, 2120 Alvin Road has been referred to the Town Board for further discussion.
   Supervisor Cooke remarked on the 2011 Annual Report of the Grand Island Memorial Library. The library is the 13th busiest out of 36 Buffalo and Erie County Libraries and has had a 6% increase in users from 2011. The Town is applying for grants from New York State for help with the Scenic Woods project and additional parking for Veteran's Park.
In other business, the Board:
•Approved the hiring of 21 returning employees and 13 new hires for the Recreation Departments Summer Programs.
•Approved the application for fireworks at Martin's Fantasy Island on July 4th by Skylighters of New York.
•Referred to the Town Planning Board a request to split property at 2548 Love Road by Robert Mesmer.
•Approved the renewal of a special use permit by Jayne Schaber of Ransom Road - keeping up to four agricultural animals on 5 acres.
•Approved the site plan of Tim Horton's Drive-Thru facility at 2366 Grand Island Blvd.
•Approved the special use permit of Mary Beth Smith of Fix Road for expansion of stable capacity.
•Approved the expansion of the rear of Certified Auto Brokers, 1693 Grand Island Blvd., upon completion of requirements set by Planning Board.
•Approved the request to reconfigure property lines by Michael and Jill Bower, 1018 Baseline Road, that will not create any additional properties.
•Approved the closing of Whitehaven Road between Grand Island Blvd. and Baseline Road on Saturday, June 23rd from 7am - 9:30am for set-up for "Island Happenings/KidBiz Sale/Business Expo".
•Accepted the resignations of long-time Town Court employees, Sophie Fortunate and Mary Witherspoon.

Ribbon Cutting at Fisherman's Landing - May 2012

Click photo for larger view - Jodi Robinson Photo

   The ribbon cutting at Fisherman's Landing on Tuesday, May 15th was in a word, sublime. The beautiful views of the Niagara River as a backdrop and the smell of grilling hot dogs wafting through the air, along with the balmy weather, made it perfect. Supervisor Mary Cooke welcomed the attendees by giving a history of the site. Father Sam Venne gave the invocation and blessed the area with holy water. Speakers were Renee Parsons of the NYS Department of State and Niagara River Greenway Commission Executive Director Rob Belue. Parks and Recreation Director Linda Tufillaro and her staff did a great job planning this event.

Ribbon Cutting at Fisherman's Landing - May 2012

   Press Release....May 11, 2012
   Grand Island, NY: A ribbon cutting to officially open the Town of Grand Island’s long-awaited Fisherman’s Landing will be held Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 12:00 noon. The project, funded jointly by the Niagara River Greenway, New York State Department of State Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, Town Of Grand Island and New York State Dormitory Authority’s Capital Assistance Program, is located at 1501 East River Road, near the South Grand Island Bridge. The project has turned an abandoned wastewater treatment facility into a beautiful waterfront public access point along the Niagara Greenway Corridor on Grand Island.
   Wastewater treatment facilities operated at the site from 1938 to the early 1980’s. Grand Island first officially considered this site for public access in 1984, when the estimated cost to demolish the structures and create public space was estimated at $105,000. A concept plan was developed by the Town in 1989.
   Local Waterfront Revitalization Planning funding, through Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund, was granted in June 2007. Fisherman’s Landing was funded in the first round of Niagara River Greenway Erie County Standing Committee Projects in August 2008. Funding from the Dormitory Authority for demolition of the abandoned wastewater facilities came in August 2009, was withdrawn in December 2010, and was reinstated through the efforts of Senator Mark Grisanti in 2011.
On hand for the ribbon cutting will be representatives from the funding agencies associated with Fisherman’s Landing, elected officials, town department heads and contractors for the project. The public is invited. For more information please contact Town of Grand Island Supervisor Mary Cooke at 716-773-9600, ext 616 or at mcooke@grand-island.ny.us.

Tentative Assessment Roll Complete/Hearing of Complaints - May 2012

   Town of Grand Island Assessor Judy Tafelski has completed the tentative assessment roll and invites residents to examine it until May 22nd at the Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Rd. See document for details regarding hours for review and complaints.

Town Board Action
Proclamations Awarded To American Legion, Older Americans & Town Clerk - May 2012


Top Picture: Town Board with Golden Age Center members.
Left picture from left: Councilmen Chris Aronica and Dick Crawford, American Legion member Dave Birt, Deputy Supervisor Liz Wilbert, Legion members Joe Synakowski, Commander Fred Wornick, Al Prame and Councilmen Ray Billica.
Right picture: Town Board with Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel - Click photo for larger view.

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., May 7, 2012 . . .Three proclamations were presented at the May 7th Town Board meeting. May is "Older Americans Month" and the Town Board congratulated the Grand Island Golden Age Center for its many years of service to older American residents. May is also designated "American Legion Membership Month" and the Town Board congratulated members of the Grand Island American Legion Post #1346, celebrating 65 years of service to the community. The week of May 13-19th has been designated "Grand Island Town Clerk Week" and Grand Island Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel and her office staff were recognized for their service to island residents.
   The Buffalo & Erie County Greenway Fund has approved funding to support the Scenic Woods-Bicentennial Park project. They are going to provide $164,321, contingent upon the Town securing matching funds for paving in the amount of $191,880 by December 2012. A Erie County Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Day is planned for Saturday, May 12th from 9am - 2pm at ECC North Campus, entrance is from Wehrle Drive. Michael Ludwig was appointed part-time dog control officer effective May 14, 2012 at a salary of $4,000 for the remainder of 2012. The Town has received a recycling credit of $368.08 for the electronic waste collected at the Highway Department.
In other business, the Board:
•Approved the hiring of Sean O'Donnell, Mathew Riles, Korey Hagen and Liam Dodd as Summer help for the Town Highway Department
•Accepted the bid of $66,732.50 by the Chad Robertson Contracting Company for the Safeways to School project at LaSalle Ave. and Broadway.
•Approved the promotion of Robert Westfall, P.E. to the position of Assistant Town Engineer.
•Authorize BIDCO Marine Group to perform outfall cleaning and inspection in the amount of $9,975.00.
•Authorize Allen Marine to perform the Intake cleaning and inspection at the Water Treatment Plant in the amount of $10,800.00.
•Approved the purchase of topsoil from Bush Trucking & Landscaping at $14.95/yd and concrete from Ventry Concrete at $6.50/sq.ft., $20.00/lf for dish curbs and $25.00/lf for upright curb for miscellaneous Town repairs.
•Approved the Parks & Recreation move of Thomas Cecere from MWII to Seasonal Crew Chief starting May 14, 2012.
•Approved the renewal of a special use permit to Parkland Enterprises for a service station at Ransom and Stony Point roads and renewal of a Tower Permit to AT&T Mobility for a tower located at 85 Carl Road.
•Approved the appointment of Steve Birtz to the Erie County Water Quality Committee.
•Approved the recommendation to grant issuance of a Grading Permit to Benderson Development Corp. for a parcel of land at Tops Plaza.
•Scheduled a public hearing for May 21st regarding an application for a Block Party & Street Closing Permit by Robert Mesmer for July 11th at Love Road and Alt Blvd.

Public Information Meeting For Reassessment Project - April 2012

   The first of several public informational meetings with Emminger Newton Pigeon Magyar, Inc., the firm that is doing the Island-wide reassessment project, is this Thursday, April 26, 2012 at Town Hall Court room at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will give an overview of the project and give a timeline for the residents and businesses to follow, as well as give the property owners the opportunity to ask any questions or concerns they may have. Reservations for the informational meeting may be made by calling 712-5550. This is the company’s Reassessment Project Hotline; give your property address and town and someone will get back to you. See information for complete details.

Town Board Action
Public Hearings Generate Comments - April 2012

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., April 16, 2012 . . .Three public hearings were on the agenda for the most recent Town Board meeting. The first was regarding making amendments to the Town Zoning Code, regarding site plan requirements. Dan Drexeilius spoke in favor but had many questions regarding the Zoning Code and Zoning Board. The issue was referred to the Town Board for further discussion. The second public hearing was adding a new chapter to the Town Code as Chapter 295, Signs. Dan Drexelius and Eric Berger spoke in opposition to the Sign code. Questions came up regarding the wording in the 26-page chapter and fairness to all concerned. This was also referred to the Town Board and Planning Board for further review. The third public hearing was the request of Mary Beth Smith, 2655 Fix Road, to add four additional stalls to the commercial riding stable she runs. Ms. Smith spoke in favor and the Town Board referred the request for a special use permit to the Planning Board and Town Board for further review.
   A public hearing was set for Monday, May 21, 2012 to allow motor vehicle repair service as an allowed use in the M-2 District.
In other business, the Board:
•Approved a salary adjustment to a water treatment plant operator.
•Approved the hiring of Matthew Zarbo as a Summer intern in the Engineering Department.
•Approved Summer hires in the Water ( Patrick Gallagher and Ben Tomkins) and Wastewater (Steven Henderson) Departments.
•Approved change orders for the Fisherman's Landing project which resulted in a credit of $5,138.50. This was due to a liquidated damage fee of $50 per day for the 125 days the project ran over schedule.
•Approved a bid from Ball Toilet & Septic to provide pumping and hauling of liquid sludge for $0.047/gallon.
•Approved the request from Parks & Recreation Dept. for a status change of seven part-time maintenance staff to full-time for five months. Hire two part-time maintenance and five full-time maintenance workers for five months.
•Referred a request by Michael and Jill Bower, 1018 Baseline Road, to reconfigure property lines, to the Planning Board.
•Approved the site plan for Scott Duscher, 1917 Staley Road, for a garden center and nursery, providing a seven foot fence is constructed to hide equipment.
•Accepted the resignation of Economic Development Advisory Board member Jeffrey Eberhard.

Town Awards Reassessment Contract - April 2012

   Thursday, April 12, 2012 . . .
   See information for complete details.

Town Board Action
Proclamation Awarded To Magdalyn Chauby - April 2012

From left: Councilmen Gary Roesch and Dick Crawford, Supervisor Mary Cooke, Magdalyn Chauby, Councilmen Ray Billica and Chris Aronica.
Click photo for larger view.

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., April 2, 2012 . . .A proclamation was given to Grand Island High School sophomore and Soprano Magdalyn Chauby after she placed first place in the Golden Voices of America International Voice Competition. Maggie performed "Summertime" at Carnegie Hall on February 18, 2012 as a result of her first place finish in the 13-15-year-old category.
   A public hearing to amend Chapter 49 of the Town Zoning Code was adjourned until April 16, 2012. A public comment period is open until April 16th and letters may be sent to the Town Board. A public hearing is planned for April 16th for a special use permit for Mary Beth Smith, 2655 Fix Rd to increase stall capacity from 16 to 20 spaces.
   The Town Board approved the authorization to have Supervisor Mary Cooke sign a contract for the Veterans Park Fence Project. This project will replace damaged fencing at the ball diamonds. The Grand Island Little League will contribute $12,500 and the Town will contribute $9,500. The GILL will be obligated to pay for any future damages that occur.
In other business, the Board:
•Authorized Supervisor Mary Cooke to sign a contract for the Real Property Reassessment Project, the bid is in the amount of $183,000.
•Approved two change orders for the Waste Water Treatment Plant SCADA System and Sedimentation Basin Uprades. Change order #1 is for the amount of $1,360.00 and #6 is $8,521.00.
•Tabled a request for site plan approval for excavation and grading activities at Top's Plaza.
•Approved the Public Improvement Permit for New England Estates Subdivision Phase 1 (Windham Lane and Bishops Gate Road) and reapprove Final Plat for New England Estates Phase 1.
•Approved permission to hire part time recreation attendants by Linda Tufillaro of Parks & Recreation Department.
•Reported a hazardous material spill notification was received regarding a chlorine spill at 1865 Grand Island Blvd. on March 25, 2012.
•Referred a letter received from James and Lisa Thorpe regarding drainage improvements for Woods Creek to the Engineering Department.

Town Board Action
Special Use Permits Renewed - March 2012

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., March 19, 2012 . . .The Town Board approved the special use permit renewal for Carol Merckel, 2324 East River Road (keeping two agricultural animals on three acres) and Glen Wallace, 917 North Colony (Bed & Breakfast). The Board approved the Planning Board's denial of a request by Paul Lenzner to abandon a portion of a paper street adjoining his property. The paper street named Park Row, is adjacent to a 2.3 acre site of land owned by the Town, north of Big Six Marina. Although the Town has no plans for the parcel at this time, it reserves the right to use the parcel and existing paper street in the future.
In other business, the Board:
•Approved the authorization to sign a Professional Services Agreement - Additional Work Authorization from Town Engineer John Whitney at a cost of $5,907.50.
•Approved the request of Parks & Recreation Director Linda Tufillaro to hire six part time Spring maintenance employees.

Town Board Action
New Business Coming Soon - March 2012

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., March 5, 2012 . . .There are two new business ventures one-step closer to opening their doors after Monday's Town Board Meeting. Site plan requirements were waived for Grand Island Serene Gardens, a garden center and cafe, located at 2800 Grand Island Blvd. and Sandy Beach Market, 3432 Wallace Drive. In the case of the garden center, there is a change of use from restaurant to retail occupancy and the parking capacity had to be evaluated. The Sandy Beach Market had the required paving of the parking lot waived. KOA, 2570 Grand Island Blvd., was approved to expand a trailer area at the property by removing ten camping cabins.
   It was announced that effective January 1, 2012, most of the town National Grid electric bills will decrease. Facilities could see a 4%-23% decrease in monthly costs, while the street lighting bills will see an average increase of 3.64%.    Town Advisory Board Appointments; Chris Soluri - has been appointed to the Traffic Safety Advisory Board to complete a term expiring December 31, 2012.
In other business, the Board:
•Approved a lease agreement with Heatherstone Kennels to house any seized animals.
•Approved the bid from Bobcat of Buffalo for a 2012 Power Tilt 9-Ton Equipment trailer at $9,708.00
•Approved the signing of agreements with New York State for water and wastewater service at Beaver Island State Park. The water agreement is effective April, 2012 through March 31, 2013. The wastewater agreement will also expire on March 31, 2013.
•Approved the authorization to advertise for bids for the LaSalle and Broadway Safeways to School sidewalk project and for 2012 Sludge Hauling.
•Agreed to further discuss a suggestion to reduce the hours of operation of the school zone on South Parkway adjacent to Kaegebein Elementary School.

Town Board Agenda - January 2012

See 3/5/12 Town Board Agenda

Property Tax Exemption Deadline - Feb 2012

   March 1 is the deadline for all Basic STAR, Enhanced/Senior STAR and Veterans property tax exemptions to be added to the assessment roll for School tax year 2012/2013 and Town/County tax year 2013. There will be no courtesy telephone calls made. If you have not already done so, please bring your paperwork to the Assessors office at Town Hall on or before Thursday, March 1.

Officer Sukmanowski Recognized - Feb 2012

Pictured left to right: GI Supervisor Mary Cooke; GI Police Officer Ed Niemann; GI Police Officer Peter Sukmanowski; Ginny Sukmanowski, Peter’s Mother; Kenneth Heist – Assistant Field Office Director, ICE/ERO Buffalo Field Office; GI Police Officer Chris Soluri.
Click left photo for larger view

GI Officer Peter Sukmanowski and Family Justice Center Director Mary Murphy.

   Grand Island Police Officer Peter Sukmanowski was honored on February 9 at the Family Justice Center of Erie County Southtowns Family Center’s First Anniversary Celebration. Officer Sukmanowski received the Aasiya Hassan Heroism Award in recognition of his effort in helping a Grand Island victim of domestic violence.

Fishermen's Landing Updated Photos - Feb 2012

Bob Bialkowski Photos - Click photos for larger view

    February 2012 . . . These air photos of Fishermen's Landing were taken on Thursday, February 9, 2012. The handicapped accessible fishing station was made possible through several grants received by the Town of Grand Island. Construction of the facilities was funded through the Niagara River Greenway Commission.

Town Board Action
Proclamation Awarded To Eagle Scout - February 2012

From left: Gary Roesch, Dick Crawford, Mary Cooke, Tim Winder, Steve Winder, Theresa Winder, Ray Billica and Chris Aronica.

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., February 6, 2012 . . .A proclamation was given to Tim Winder after he earned the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor on January 18, 2012. Tim's Eagle Scout Project was a redesign and rebuild of the landscaping, surrounding the Memorial Monument in DeGlopper Park. A total of 133 man-hours were put into the project involving 26 people. Tim is now working towards his Bronze Eagle Palm award.
   Supervisor Mary Cooke appointed the following to the Special Districts Committee:
Chair, Town Engineer John Whitney
From Wastewater Department, Chief Plant Operator Ian James and Working Crew Chief Mike Braun.
From Water Department, Sr. Plant Operator Jim Dlugokinski and Working Crew Chief Don Hoover.
The Town Board liaisons are Supervisor Mary Cooke and Councilperson Ray Billica.
   The following were appointed for the year 2012 to be liaisons between the Town Board and Advisory Boards:
Gary Roesch, Chair - Audit Committee; Chris Aronica, Councilman - Audit Committee
Gary Roesch - Economic Development
Dick Crawford - Environmental Conservation
Mary Cooke - Human Rights
Gary Roesch - Cable/Communication
Ray Billica - Traffic Safety
Dick Crawford - Library Trustees
Ray Billica - Architectural Review
Gary Roesch - Planning
Chris Aronica - Parks & Recreation
Mary Cooke - Historic Preservation
Gary Roesch - Executive Board of Golden Age Club
Gary Roesch - Safety
Dick Crawford - CERT
   Town Advisory Board Appointments; Peter McKee-Zoning Board Chairman, Bill Gworek-Board of Assessment Review, Joseph Scully-Cable & Communications, Paul Roeder-Cable & Communications, Kolby Smith-Board of Ethics, Alice Kowzan-Parks & Recreation and Ray Gress and Fran McMahon-Alternates, Parks & Recreation.
In other business, the Board:
•Approved the purchase of an equipment trailer by the Highway Department.
•Approved the renewal of a special use permit for Robert Mesmer, 2548 Love Road for a private airport/landing strip.
•Approved the site plan for an addition to L.D.C. Construction, 1920 Baseline Road
•Approved a request to split property of James Kaiser, 2397 Love Road.
•Approved the appointment of Nicole Gerber as Deputy Emergency Services Coordinator.

Island Re-Assessment Presentation - February 2012

The Town of Grand Island is hosting a presentation from the NYS Office of Real Property Tax Services with Thomas Halter, Real Property Analyst 2 and NYS Certified General Appraiser on the topic of the Island wide re-assessment due to begin in 2012. The presentation will take place in the meeting room of the GI Memorial Library located at 1715 Bedell Road, Grand Island on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Town Board Proclamation & Appointee - January 2012

Center: Supervisor Mary Cooke presents the proclamation to Rev. Paul Nogaro.
Click photo for larger view - Jodi Robinson photo

By Jodi Robinson
   Tue., January 17, 2012 . . .The Town Board presented a proclamation and congratulated Rev. Paul Nogaro and members of St. Stephen's Parish as they celebrate their Sesquicentennial year. Supervisor Cooke proclaimed Sunday, February 12, 2012 as Saint Stephen's Church 150th Anniversary Day. The parish will be celebrating from February through December, with various activites planned. Chris Aronica was appointed to fill the empty town board seat after a 3-1 vote by the Board. Supervisor Cooke was the lone no vote. At the public comment period, Dave Klock of Whitehaven Road brought up a water drainage issue in the area of Whitehaven and Stony Point roads. The Highway Department is currently looking into the problem.
   The following items were adopted concerning the organization of the Town for the coming year.
•Adopted the Part Time Seasonal Salary Schedule, submitted by the town department heads.
•2012 Schedule of Planning Board Meetings
In other business, the Board:
•Adopted the following to various Advisory Boards,
Frederick Luhr - Board of Ethics
Dorothy Westhafer - Comm. for Conservation of the Environment and Chairwoman for 2012
Mary Sommer - Human Rights Commission
Frank Sturniolo - Chairman of Planning Board
•Authorize Gary Roesch to cast one vote for the Town at Assoc. of Towns Meeting.
•Approved the purchase of a mower for the Parks & Recreation Department.

Chris Aronica Appointed To Town Board - January 2012

   At the January 17th meeting, the Grand Island Town Board appointed Chris Aronica to the Town Council seat vacated by the election of Mary Cooke to Supervisor. Chris is President of Aronica & Co. Brokerage Firm and is a registered Conservative. A life-long islander, and GIHS Class of 1979 graduate, he is married to Kyle and they have two children. Chris is "looking forward to serving the community I grew up in." His term lasts until Dec. 31, 2012. A special election will take place next fall to elect a councilperson.

Town Board Begins New Year At Odds - January 2012

By Jodi Robinson
   Mon., January 3, 2012 . . .It was an interesting beginning to the new year at the first Town Board meeting of 2012. Supervisor Mary Cooke made a motion to appoint Planning Board member Shelia Ferrentino to fill the vacancy of her council seat, and was seconded by Councilman Dick Crawford. Councilman Ray Billica interjected that he was under the impression that the appointment was still in the discussion phase and he wasn't ready to vote. Councilman Gary Roesch agreed noting that out of the 16 applicants for the position, all would make a great addition to the board, though "one candidate may be a touch better" than another. After a vote, the motion failed with Cooke and Crawford voting for and Billica and Roesch voting against. Gary Roesch then made a motion to appoint Mike Madigan but with no one to second it, the board is back to discussions.
   The following items were adopted concerning the organization of the Town for the coming year.
•Appoint Hodgson Russ, LLP, Peter C. Godfrey, Esq. of Counsel as attorneys.
•Adopt the resolution regarding method of assessment for consolidated water districts, Town lighting districts and consolidated sewer districts.
•Designate the Bonadio Group as Audit Counselors.
•Designate Supervisor Mary Cooke as Budget Officer.
•Reappoint Douglas Learman as Code Enforcement Officer, Dan Linenfelser and Jacqueline McGinty as Code Enforcement Officer B part-time.
•Appoint Supervisor Cooke as the Liaison and Police Commissioner of the Grand Island Police Dept.
•Set the mileage at $.555 per mile for Town Officials when performing duties for the Town.
•Designate the Island Dispatch as official newspaper.
•Designate M & T, HSBC, MBIA Class, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Citizens Bank and First Niagara as depositories for the Town.
•Adopt Town Fee Schedule, Procurement Policy, salary schedule and The Rules and Procedures.
•Authorize the Supervisor to bond Town Personnel, set petty cash funds for departments, set the payroll date as every other Thursday and make payments to the designated utility and health insurance companies.
•Designate Town Attorney Peter Godfrey and Payroll Clerk Diane Nesbit as Harassment Complaint Officers.
•Appointment of Elizabeth Wilbert as Assistant to the Supervisor and Deputy Supervisor for 2012.
In other business, the Board:
•Approved motion to authorize Supervisor Mary Cooke to sign an agreement with Network Services for computer support for hardware and software related issues.
•Approved the reappointment of Town Clerk Pattie Frentzel to the positon of Registrar of Vital Statistics.
•Approved request of Highway Superintendent Jim Tomkins to place two town vehicles at auction.

Inauguration Of Town Officials - January 2012

From left: Town Justice Sybil Kennedy, Councilman Gary Roesch, Supervisor Mary Cooke, Hon. Russell Buscaglia, NYS Supreme Court, Town Clerk Patricia Frentzel and Councilman Richard Crawford
Click photo for larger view - Jodi Robinson photo

   Newly elected Grand Island Town officials were sworn in by the Hon. Russell Buscaglia, NYS Supreme Court, at the Buffalo Launch Club on Sunday, January 1, 2012. They included Town Justice Sybil Kennedy, Councilman Gary Roesch, Supervisor Mary Cooke, Town Clerk Patricia Frentzel and Councilman Richard Crawford. Don Burns was a lively addition as Master of Ceremonies, at a very well attended inauguration ceremony.