State funding for two capital projects in the City of Tonawanda has been secured by Assemblyman Robin Schimminger.
“I am directing a total of $105,000 in special state legislative funding to two longstanding community organizations that serve the residents of Tonawanda,” said Schimminger. “The YWCA of the Tonawandas will receive $50,000 for needed remodeling of its transitional home for domestic violence clients, and $55,000 will go toward the cost of installing an elevator at American Legion Tonawandas’ Post 264.”
“The YWCA will utilize its funds to complete renovations at its residence for victims of domestic violence,” said Schimminger. “There currently are no other transitional residences in either the northern part of Erie County or southern Niagara County to assist in supporting women and families establishing a life free of violence. The YWCA of the Tonawandas’ domestic violence program has a 40-year history of providing counseling and other services to those touched by family violence.”
Schimminger explained that the grant will be used for a second-story addition, roof and window replacement, landscaping, paving and other site work at the home, which was donated to the YWCA a year-and-a-half ago. Other improvements are being funded by a federal emergency shelter grant and corporate and community contributions.
“This is a dream come true and it certainly brings this project closer to reality. We are very grateful to Assemblyman Schimminger for his grant and his ongoing support for our domestic violence and other family-based programs,” said Jill Townson, Executive Director of the YWCA of the Tonawandas.
“Post 264’s landmark building on Main Street dates back to 1909, and is in need of improved accessibility for elderly and disabled members and other patrons and visitors. The facility is used by numerous local groups for community events, and must undergo some substantial renovations to remain viable. Retaining this historic and vibrant community asset is critical to the city’s plans to redevelop Main Street and the downtown canal-side area,” Schimminger stated.
Schimminger noted that the grant, one-half of the funding needed for the project, gives Post 264 a big head start in raising the funds to complete the work. The lawmaker has also provided state budget funding in recent years to renovate Post 264’s restrooms and to repair the building’s roof, which was damaged by last December’s record snowfall.
“We certainly appreciate the support Assemblyman Schimminger has provided to Post 264 on this project and over the years,” said Dennis Smilinich, Chairman of Tonawandas’ Post 264 Board of Directors. “Our facilities are used by many groups for a variety of activities, including performances by our 13-time National Championship Band, community meetings, and fundraisers for families hit by tragic circumstances.”
“I am, of course, glad that I’ve been able to provide this special legislative funding to meet these important needs in our community. These two fine organizations have long been vital parts of the social fabric of Tonawanda and the Twin Cities and with this state assistance will be able to continue to serve area residents for many years to come,” concluded Schimminger.