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Savings from grant outlined as Town of Niagara considers playground equipment for four satellite parks

TOWN OF NIAGARA – Town officials would like to take advantage of a grant program to save money on playground equipment this year for the four satellite parks.

Supervisor Lee S. Wallace told board members Wednesday at a work session that a representative of Game Time, a playground equipment company, told him the town is eligible for a matching grant of up to 50 percent on all playground equipment purchased this year.

The more equipment that is purchased, the greater the grant percentage, Wallace said. The saving would also be greater if the equipment is prepaid.

According to the discussion, the town has about $130,000 in proceeds from the sale of the former park site on Young Street, which must be used to improve parks. Wallace said the money should be enough to cover the costs of equipment at all four neighborhood parks. The town could buy the equipment this year to qualify for the matching grants and apply for additional funding next year from the Niagara Greenway Commission to pay for installation.

Wallace said the equipment for the park in Belden Center would cost about $58,000 before any grants were applied. Belden Center and the other neighborhood sites are in need of new playgrounds and renovations. The board has been criticized for devoting too much time and attention to its flagship facility at Veterans Memorial Park on Lockport Road.

“This couldn’t have come at a better time,” said the supervisor, who emphasized that it was very coincidental that the grant information came through at the same time the board was about to develop a plan to fix the satellite parks. He said he would have the details of the proposal at the October meeting.

Board members also discussed installing eight dugouts at four baseball diamonds at Veterans Memorial Park that would cost no more than $140,000. Specifications from engineers Clarke Patterson Lee showed the designs to include covered dugouts on concrete pads that would hold 12 to 15 players.

Also, a small group of residents told board members that they were concerned about the permit application by Covanta Environmental Solutions to operate a facility for nonhazardous solid waste at 8335 Quarry Road. Michael B. Risman, attorney for the town, said the company can bring in only nonhazardous materials, according to its permit with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and would have to make an application with the state and town for any changes.

Wallace directed Risman to review the state permit for all details before the town permit comes up for a vote Tuesday.