Grant from 1980s may halt Town of Tonawanda ice rink plan

Posted at 10:58 PM, Apr 20, 2018

A sign on the wall of the pool house at the Brighton Pool in the Town of Tonawanda, may stop a multi-million dollar project in its tracks.

The town was looking into removing the pool and creating an $8-million indoor ice rink on the land.

Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Joe Emminger says a state environmental review, revealed a federal grant from 1985 states the outdoor recreation area must remain an outdoor recreation area.

“You wouldn't think that there would be too big of an obstacle to overcome,” said Emminger. “But, that grant goes in perpetuity.”

Despite the $79,000 grant being over 30 years old, Emminger says it's a complicated process to overturn.

“We're talking about months.”

At Monday's town board meeting, the supervisor went over the grant problem in more detail, saying that there are several options moving forward, including keeping the pool or putting in a splash park in its place. He says it's unclear if, when, or where an indoor ice rink will be built. He hopes the issue eventually goes to a referendum before the voters of the Town of Tonawanda.

“Better we find out about it now,” added Emminger. “As opposed to us finding out about it four months from now.”

The Brighton Pool will be open for business this summer.

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