Lackawanna

Lackawanna, a city full of brownfields, is getting $862,460 from the state to spur commercial and residential development of the parcels.

Lackawanna was one of 26 communities in the state to share in $10 million in Brownfield Opportunity Areas competitive grants.

The money will be used to help breathe new life into several brownfields concentrated in the city’s First Ward, where vacant swaths of land have attracted little interest from developers wary of taking on potentially contaminated property.

“Pretty much what this does is it starts making property that we want developed shovel ready for developers,” said Mayor Geoffrey M. Szymanski. “It’s been about a seven-year process, but we finally got it.”

Development within the largely industrial First Ward “really picks up the whole city,” the mayor added.

Some of the money likely will be used for remediation of contaminated sites, although many of the parcels with Lackawanna’s Brownfield Opportunity Area have only mild contamination.

City officials envision being able to build a trail along Smokes Creek to Lake Erie, opening access to the waterfront inside the city’s boundaries for the first time.

Also in Western New York, the Town of Tonawanda received $275,400 for redevelopment of the River Road area, which has 29 brownfield sites, and the City of Jamestown received $269,100 toward redevelopment efforts on 15 brownfield sites between Chautauqua Lake and the city’s downtown.

Also this week:

• The City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. in Council chambers in City Hall. On the agenda is City Comptroller Peggy Bigaj-Sobol’s response to a request from City Council President Henry R. Pirowski for a four-year fiscal outlook of the city’s general fund in light of increased expenses due to recently approved contracts with bargaining units that represent city workers.

• The 14th annual Father Baker Chess Tournament will be held 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Lackawanna Senior Center, 230 Martin Road, Lackawanna.

The tournament, sponsored by the Lackawanna Youth Bureau, is open to chess players through the 12th grade.

• The board of trustees of Global Concepts Charter School will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the school, 1001 Ridge Road.