The Sloan Village Board Wednesday agreed to use $10,915 in unused Community Development Block Grant funds to pay for a proposed handicapped accessible playground unit at Wrazen Park.
The Village Board had previously allocated tax dollars for the park improvement, but recently learned from the Town of Cheektowaga that the village had accumulated nearly $90,000 in unspent federal grant money, dating back to 1994.
The approved programs, according to Mayor Kenneth Pokorski, included $24,300 in funding for a 1995 storm receiver project, and $52,100 for 1996 and 1997 drainage improvement projects. The Wrazen Park funding was based on playground equipment grant money approved for the 1994 program year.
The mayor, who was elected in March, had no explanation why the money was not used on the proposed projects. The administrative work needed to use the federal funds postponed the start of the Wrazen Park project by several weeks.
"I'd rather spend the grant money than the tax money," the mayor said. "Is (the Wrazen project) going to happen? Yes it is." The village applies for its Community Development grants through the Town of Cheektowaga based on an agreement with the town.
In a related matter, a Mann Street resident informed the board that a volunteer group scheduled to help install the new playground equipment at Wrazen Park may disband.
The board was told the group was having problems organizing 25 volunteers for the project. If volunteers are not used, the project cost could increase by $1,900.
The board also scheduled a public hearing for 6:45 p.m. Aug. 12 on a proposed retirement incentive program for village employees.