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Orchard Park’s list of goals includes a new senior center

In their second annual state of Orchard Park address, Town Board members included finishing a plan for a new community and senior citizens’center on this year’s list of goals along with developing a strategic plan to make government more efficient and winning state accreditation for the police department.

Supervisor Patrick Keem put his ambition for the new Brush Mountain community center after the meeting Wednesday, “Get designs on paper … Complete the design work with the architects and get ready to go.”

During the evening presentation, Keem, and the other two board members Mike Sherry and Eugene Majchrzak took turns reading the prepared address that quoted Franklin Roosevelt on honesty, compared their struggle with the proposed tax freeze with Odysseus’s choice between the two evils of Scylla and Charybdis and promised to continue their practice of reviewing and streamlining the town’s approach to services.

“We will not knowingly, inattentively or recklessly allow our community to be driven into fiscal distress,” said Sherry, “or the loss of its right to choose, within reason, the kinds and levels of services we want.”

He pointed out the $50,000 annual savings that will come from last year’s agreement with Hamburg to share assessing services.

Majchrzak highlighted the growing senior population and the importance of focusing on a new more spacious Community Activities Center to help replace the current small Linwood Avenue senior center.

About one third of Orchard Park residents, about 10,000 of them, are 55 or older. The fastest growing age group is 85 and over, followed by the 60-64 year olds.

“This graying pattern in Orchard Park is projected to rapidly accelerate,” he said.

The board has already approved the Wendel architecture firm to design the Community Center. Keem said he will soon begin meeting with local people, such as soccer club members, to help plan the space.