Schimminger Secures State Funding for N.T. Projects

December 19, 2002

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger announced that he has secured special state funding for two capital projects in the City of North Tonawanda.

“I am pleased to be able to announce that I am directing a total of $138,000 in legislative funding for two projects in North Tonawanda that were brought to my attention by city officials,” said Schimminger. “The city will receive $88,000 to complete the Niagara Riverwalk and Bicycle Trail and $50,000 for planned improvements at Payne Park. Both projects are aimed at developing recreational and tourism-related resources in our community.”

Schimminger explained that Mayor David Burgio initially contacted him seeking his support for state funding for the projects, and that Council Members Larry Soos, Russ Rizzo and Rob Chorny and County Legislator Bill Davignon have expressed their support, as well.

“The Riverwalk Trail will parallel the river for about two miles from Gateway Harbor Park to Fisherman’s Park and on to Gratwick-Riverside Park. It will link up with the Riverwalk that follows the Niagara River from downtown Buffalo through the Town and City of Tonawanda to Gateway Park, and with the state’s Canalway Trail that will eventually run along the entire length of the Erie Canal from the Twin Cities to the Albany area,” said Schimminger. “The trail will provide increased and safe access to the Niagara River shoreline and to the city’s three waterfront parks.”

The city plans to construct a ten-foot-wide ‘hike and bike’ asphalt trail and add plantings, lighting, benches and other amenities. The state funding will match $95,000 in cash and in-kind services being provided by the city. Schimminger noted that, when it is totally completed, the Riverwalk Trail will enable residents of the Tonawandas to hike, jog, rollerblade or ride their bicycles – and cross country ski or snowshoe during the winter – all the way to Niagara Falls and Fort Niagara. Sections of the trailway are finished or under construction in Niagara Falls, Lewiston and Youngstown.

“Plans for a pedestrian/bicycle trail with fitness stations at Payne Park can now move forward, as well,” said Schimminger. “The paved pathway will connect the park entrance on Walck Road with Memorial Pool and other recreational facilities in the park, as well as with the neighborhood streets that surround the park, and enable those in wheelchairs or using walking aids, bicyclists, joggers, rollerbladers and parents pushing baby strollers to enjoy all that Payne Park has to offer. The ‘Heart Health’ stations will aid persons following exercise regimens and will encourage users to become more aware of their cardiovascular health.”

The city has committed nearly $200,000 in cash and in-kind services to these and other improvements at the park, that also include plans to install new handicapped accessible playground equipment and a water play splash park as additional funding becomes available.

“Needless to say, I’m glad that I was able to work with city officials to provide this special state funding for North Tonawanda,” said Schimminger. “These projects complement other regional initiatives in the City and Town of Tonawanda that are aimed at enhancing recreational and tourism development in all the Tonawandas.”