On Tuesday, the Niagara County Republican Party announced that Robert Schmigel, a local businessman with a range of experience, will be seeking election to represent North Tonawanda First Ward. Schmigel will be looking for support from the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties. 

Current First Ward Alderman Mark Berube will not be seeking re-election this year. 

Schmigel says his that recent efforts to breath new life into Oliver Street are just what the city needs and continuing those efforts will bring even more prosperity to the Lumber City. 

"The success in North Tonawanda is unbelievable and has re-energized this community," Schmigel said. "I want to use my experience in business management to help take the development of Oliver Street and River Road to the next level."

Schmigel noted his experience as a senior manager of Cabela's, where he was responsible for boosting sales at the outdoors recreation retail business. He said he was able to help the store achieve a 5 percent increase in sales. Now, he's a store manager at CVS where he said he's using similar principals to help the store thrive. 

He applauded ongoing business developments taking place in the city, including the expansions of Armstrong Pumps and Matt's Music and the construction of the River's Edge apartment complex on River Road. 

"A diverse approach that connects Oliver Street and River Road development to the success of Webster Street, can really make North Tonawanda a model city," he said. "Coupling that development with neighborhood revitalization in the first ward will bring an exciting change for our community."

Schmigel also said that there needs to be a focus on correcting the "crumbling infrastructure" and addressing issues with the housing stock in the city if it wants to maximize growth. In the first ward particularly, he said, the "scars" of the district's industrial past can still be seen. 

"This community needs our attention and resources so we can capitalize on the growth," he said. "Sidewalks in disrepair or streets laden with pot-holes will be a thing of the past, it's time we adopt a fresh perspective."