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Local

Cleaned up Spaulding Fibre site ready for re-use

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Mike Desmond/WBFO
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A major area relic of the industrial age is gone. Officials are now hunting for new industry to locate on the Tonawanda site.

Politicians and municipal leaders on Thursday gathered to officially list the former Spaulding Fibre in the City of Tonawanda as open for new companies.

In the 20 years since the plant closed, government on all levels has spent $20 million removing buildings and contamination from the 47-acre site and getting it ready for new use.

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger says he walked by the plant every day on his way to Cardinal O'Hara High School when there were as many as 1,300 well-paid workers.

Schimminger says it took money and plans to get the site cleaned up, including getting a new law passed.

"We didn't have a program for demolition so I made it my mission up in Albany to create a program for demolition, called the Restore New York program. And, this project, the Spaulding project, benefited significantly to the tune of $3.2 million in funding from that Restore New York program," Schimminger said.

"It is a poster child for how all levels of government federal...state...county...and city can work together to make good things happen," said Tonawanda Mayor Ron Pilozzi.

Pilozzi says he has already been contacted by some potential companies interested in the new industrial park.