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Orchard Park plans $7 million in bonding

Orchard Park plans to borrow more than $7 million for road and facility repairs, park improvements and the purchase of property near Yates Park.

The final vote at the end of Wednesday's work session for the bonding was unanimous, but discussion leading up to it was contentious, as the board discussed what to include in the bonding.

Board members were reluctant to discuss the purchase of Bank Street property near Yates Park in open session, citing concerns of how it would affect negotiations to buy the property. There also was disagreement over whether environmental forms needed to be completed. They went into executive session to talk about land acquisition.

But since the board decided to include spending up to $300,000 for the purchase in the bond, the proposal was made public.

Supervisor Janis Colarusso referred all questions on the bonds to Town Attorney Leonard Berkowitz.

"We believe our Recreation Department is growing each year, and facilities we have now don't accommodate it," she said. "Brush Mountain Park and other avenues are back on the table."

Park administration offices and facilities at Yates Park/Green Lake have been deemed too small for some time. And with the expansion of recreation programs to 9,000 participants last year, the town is heavily dependent on the Orchard Park Central School District for facilities.

Councilman David Kaczor said that in the short term, the town would rather have its own facility to utilize. He said the long-term goal still is to make Brush Mountain on California Road the center for recreation.

The board approved a number of bonds in addition to the property purchase:

*$4.78 million for road resurfacing.

*$710,000 for repairs and renovations to the Municipal Center.

*$700,000 for the preparation of preliminary plans for development of Brush Mountain Park.

*$500,000 for Orchard Park Library repairs.

*$90,000 for retaining walls at Green Lake and Thorn Avenue baseball field.

Roads to be resurfaced or reconstructed include parts of Baker, Elmtree, Dorchester and Ellis roads, Philson, Iroquois and Mid County drives, Weiss Avenue and Puritan Place.

e-mail: bobrien@buffnews.com

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