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Elma makes portico at senior center top priority for block grant

The Elma Town Board on Wednesday announced that the portico proposed for the Senior Citizen Center at Village Green Park is the town’s No. 1 priority for a Community Development Block Grant.

During an earlier public hearing entertaining block grant suggestions, Gary Brooks of the Elma Betterment Group recommended building a portico so that seniors and the disabled wouldn’t have to navigate icy and slippery sidewalks to get into the building.

At the time, he recommended moving the septic system to accommodate the project. But after reviewing the plan, Supervisor Dennis Powers suggested turning a service lane behind the building into two lanes, which would eliminate the need to move the septic system.

Powers showed a new rendering of the portico drawn by builder Todd Huber that shows the changes to the service road. The portico would be large enough to allow clearance for fire trucks and a bus. The cost of the project is projected at $90,000.

The No. 2 priority for the town is a joint application with Marilla, Aurora and Wales for a Rural Transit van for the elderly and disabled.

Powers noted that a proposal for an addition to the Elma Historical Society barn did not meet block grant requirements. The board voted to pass the information along to Connie Minor, the town’s grant writer.

During a work session, the board announced that it is considering increasing the budget for plans to redevelop Creek Road Park, from $35,000 to $60,000. Proposed are the razing of a storage building and the construction of a two-story building, similar to a pole barn, featuring a press box on the second floor and storage on the first floor. The work would be completed next summer.

Also at the meeting:

• The board will transfer $60,000 from sales tax revenue to the highway fund to pay for the extra cost of road resurfacing work last summer.

• The Highway Department will seek estimates to remove underground fuel tanks at the Bowen Road highway garage, to be replaced with above-ground tanks. The tanks are used to fuel town and fire company equipment. Officials noted that the state Department of Environmental Conservation would likely require the conversion in the future.

• The board will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Nov. 6 on the proposed 2014 budget and a public hearing at 7 p.m. Nov. 20 on the NYSEG tower proposed for Stolle and Creek roads.