Schimminger to Provide Funds for Gateway Harbor Security

April 26, 2006

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger announced today that he is committing $65,000 in state funding to fully fund a video security system at Gateway Harbor in the Tonawandas.

“I’m pleased to be able to deliver on a request from Tonawandas Gateway Harbor, Inc., and the mayors of the Twin Cities and direct State Assembly capital funds to help improve public safety at Gateway Harbor with a new digital camera surveillance system. This security system will make tying up along the canal more secure for boaters, encouraging more people to visit the Tonawandas and patronize our local businesses and attractions,” Schimminger said.

Schimminger explained that he was recently contacted by North Tonawanda Mayor Larry Soos, Tonawanda Mayor Ronald Pilozzi, and Linda Foels, President of Tonawandas Gateway Harbor, Inc., who outlined concerns over increasing incidents of vandalism at the canal harbor park and requested his help in identifying funding for the project. A series of digital security cameras will be installed along the Erie Canal between the Delaware Avenue and T-NT Renaissance bridges and on a portion of Ellicott Creek, enabling the Tonawanda and North Tonawanda Police Departments to monitor the area. The security system, which will be similar to those in place at several local marinas, will be able to be accessed by the Erie and Niagara County Sheriff’s Departments and U.S. Border Patrol, Customs and Immigration.

“It’s great that Assemblyman Schimminger’s funding can help both communities, Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, by enhancing our harbor security. We are very fortunate to have an assemblyman whose interest in tourism and economic development mirrors our own,” Mayor Soos stated.

“Many thanks go out to Assemblyman Schimminger for the $65,000 in state funding to finance the video security system at Gateway Harbor. This surveillance system will provide the police departments of both cities with a tool that will enhance their ability to provide a safe environment for our residents and visitors. This funding is a good example of the State of New York, and in particular Assemblyman Schimminger, providing the opportunity for Tonawanda and North Tonawanda to engage in an inter-municipal joint venture that improves our harbor area, which is one of the key components of the Tonawandas’ redevelopment efforts,” Mayor Pilozzi said.

Ms. Foels said, “The Gateway Harbor Corp. is excited that Robin has embraced this project to provide security and a comfort level for the boaters, residents and visitors who frequent the harbor and the Twin Cities.”

Schimminger helped garner the $3 million in state funding nearly a decade ago that financed the development of Gateway Harbor by the N.Y.S. Canal Corporation. More recently, he has secured state legislative grants to provide free ‘WiFi’ wireless Internet access in the downtown canal area and enable the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas to produce updated tourism brochures promoting Gateway Harbor and other attractions in the Twin Cities.

“Needless to say, I’m glad to be of help to the cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda in their ongoing, collaborative efforts to develop and promote Gateway Harbor and our community’s shared waterfront. I remain committed to doing all I can to boost recreational, tourism and economic development opportunities for residents of the Tonawandas and visitors to our community,” Schimminger concluded.