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Eden Town Board expected to vote on proposed group home

Members of the Eden Town Board expect to take action Wednesday night on a proposed group home for the developmentally disabled. 

The board could accept the proposal to build a house for up to six developmentally disabled individuals at 8621 Jennings Road, suggest another location or argue that the town has enough of those facilities and another should not be established. 

Supervisor Glenn Nellis said the board has not decided how it will vote but is strongly considering a written statement that would argue that the town is saturated with group homes. 

“We’re looking very hard at that issue,” he said. 

There already are five group homes for the developmentally disabled in the town. Erie County owns a pair of group homes for recovering alcoholics. There is also a vocational center for the developmentally disabled on Main Street. 

The state owns group homes on George Street, Florence Avenue and Schreiner Road. People Inc. has a home on Woodside Drive. Suburban Adult Services owns a home on Paxon Road and the vocational center, which it operates during the day on weekdays.  

Both of the county-owned homes are on Sandrock Road. 

With all those facilities and a population of nearly 8,500, the town has more per capita than bordering towns, Nellis said. 

Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled, based on Oak Street in Buffalo, has proposed buying the vacant property at Jennings Road and East Church Street and constructing a house. 

Residents voiced objections to the proposal in a standing-room-only meeting at the last board meeting on June 24. They expressed fears of convicted sex offenders or violent criminals living there.  

Some also have concerns about a high-pressure gas line that runs through that area. 

A Community Services representative who spoke about the proposal acknowledged many questions remain, such as how many residents would live there, whether they would be adults or adolescents and whether they would be men or women. Mindy Cervoni, chief operating officer, also told residents the organization “would consider” placing sex offenders in the home.  

The Eden Board of Education declared its opposition to the proposal Wednesday night. 

Town Board members will meet at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall.