The 124-acre Town of Niagara Community Center and Veterans Memorial Park recently received the 2004 Community Achievement Award from the American Society for Landscape Architects Upstate New York Chapter. Shown in the above photo (left to right) are Deputy Town Supervisor Marc Carpenter, Councilman Lavern Haseley, Town Supervisor Steven Richards and Councilman Michael Ross. (photo by Ralph Schwarz)
After almost 27 years of looking for someone to remove a spoil pile, the Town of Niagara has finally found a taker.
Last Tuesday, the Town Board unanimously approved to enter into an agreement with One Niagara Plaza L.L.C., on a project that would see 50,660 cubic yards of soil, rock and debris removed from its current site east of the Town Highway garage on Lockport Road. The company, which recently acquired the former AquaFalls property in downtown Niagara Falls, would use the materials to fill the gaping hole left by the abandoned underground aquarium project off Rainbow Boulevard.
“We’ve been trying to get rid of that pile since 1978,” said Town Supervisor Steven Richards.
Debris From Sewer Project
After tests determined that the debris does not pose any environmental dangers, the Town Board voted last October to solicit bids for the removal of the spoil pile that dated back to the town-wide sewer project from the 1970s.
“Back then, we couldn’t give it away, so we had to put (the debris) to a central area,” said Deputy Town Supervisor Marc Carpenter.
However, the lowest bid the town received for the removal of the pile stood at $207,388 or $3.98 per cubic yard.
“Of course, we couldn’t afford that,” Richards said. “Since we never thought it would be that kind of money, we never had that amount budgeted.”
That the pile will go nevertheless can be credited in large part to Niagara Falls Mayor Vince Anello who contacted Richards earlier this week on behalf of developer Frank Parlato Jr. who stands behind One Falls Plaza.
Falls Mayor Helps Out
“Mayor Anello called and said the new owners of the Occidental Building were looking for some fill,” Richard said. “He proposed that maybe something can be worked out.”
After several meetings, town officials and the developer agreed that One Niagara Plaza will remove all rock, soil and debris from the Highway garage site on terms laid out by the town attorney and town engineer.
In addition to eliminating all costs to the town, the company will also pay the nominal sum of $0.01 per cubic yard in advance, hold the Town of Niagara harmless for any damages to town property and provide a plan for the removal and final grading of the land beneath the spoil pile.
“I want publicly thank Mayor Anello because he actually saved this town $207,000,” Richards said. “This is a good example of what two communities can do by working together. Even though we’re arguing over the Wal-mart property (on Military Road), we are still gentlemen enough to say: ‘Your business goes on.’”