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Holland resumes plans for commons

A proposed commons area and parking lot in Holland, put on hold in February when the new administration had too many questions surrounding the project, is back on track.

After meeting Monday with the Beautification Committee and Wednesday with the architect, Supervisor Michael Kasprzyk gave the go-ahead for seeking bids.

Plans by local architect Louis D. Pease for the two-acre site at the town center include a band shell, green space, clock tower, parking, restrooms and an area for people to gather. The Village Center Revitalization Committee, the Town Beautification Committee and the Town Board all made recommendations on the design.

Shortly after taking office, Kasprzyk found little consensus about the $200,000 project. In some instances, he discovered, people had stopped going to meetings, claiming lack of attention to their viewpoints.

Former councilman Gerald Husman, chairman of the Beautification Committee, agreed, saying no one was "100 percent satisfied." He said he believed the original plans were too heavy on concrete and too light on greenery, and was surprised when the Town Board in December approved rough plans without fine-tuning them.

"We've gone over the details now and directed the architect to give us some hard numbers so we can decide if we can do this project in its entirety, alter aspects or drop some things if we can't afford them," Kasprzyk said Thursday.

The project is being funded by a federal grant the town received in 2003 as part of the Village Center Revitalization program.

The matching-fund program got a lukewarm reception from local businesses struggling through the reconstruction of Route 16 during 2004.

Only $80,000 of the grant money was used.

With issues now resolved, Kasprzyk said he expects construction to get under way after June 1.

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