Orchard Park Town Board members and resident spar over Jolls House - The Buffalo News

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Orchard Park Town Board members and resident spar over Jolls House

Sniping between the Orchard Park Town Board and a resident over the historic Jolls House continued Wednesday night.

It started with Dave Schuster of South Freeman Road asking about a handicapped parking space for the building, which houses the Orchard Park Historical Society.

He brought it up at a meeting last month and was upset at the response from Supervisor Janis Colarusso, who said he had not talked to her about it. He said Wednesday board minutes show he had asked the board for the parking space in 2011, but two years later there was no spot.

Board members Wednesday ordered town employees to create the handicapped parking space in the town parking lot outside the Jolls House.

Highway Superintendent Frederick Piasecki said a ramp would have to be built, and the town could lose one space in the parking lot.

“This board just got blamed, and we want you to finish the process,” Colarusso told the highway superintendent and town engineer. “I don’t want anyone to come back up to that podium and tell us that we haven’t done what we were supposed to do. So work it out, and if you have to lose the space, lose it.”

The two-story brick Italianate structure on South Buffalo Street next to the municipal building was built in 1870 and purchased in 1902 by Dr. Willard B. Jolls, who set up a clinic in the rear of the house and practiced medicine there until 1960.

The town acquired the property in 1979, renovated it and leased it as offices until 1996, when it became a town museum and headquarters for the historical society. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Last year the town sent the society a letter terminating the lease, although the two sides finally agreed on a lease.

Councilman David Kaczor defended the town’s actions with the Jolls House and the historical society, saying Schuster is just one member of the society and his complaints do not reflect its entire membership.

email: bobrien@buffnews.com

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