Weekly Feature

2017-09-07 / Front Page

More than $300,000 secured for new community activity center

by NICK KONOTOPSKYJ
Reporter


Town and village officials gathered at the Municipal Center on Aug. 31 as Assemblyman Michael Kearns announced that $325,000 had been secured for the soon-to-be-constructed community activity center. From left, first row, are Supervisor Patrick Keem, Jackie Briggs, president of the Senior Council of Orchard Park, and Kearns; second row, Town Engineer Wayne Bieler, Highway Superintendent Fred Piasecki, Senior Center Director Debbie Santiago, Trustee Jonathan McNatty, Colleen Baker, associate director of the Orchard Park Chamber of Commerce, and Recreation Director Ed Leak. Town and village officials gathered at the Municipal Center on Aug. 31 as Assemblyman Michael Kearns announced that $325,000 had been secured for the soon-to-be-constructed community activity center. From left, first row, are Supervisor Patrick Keem, Jackie Briggs, president of the Senior Council of Orchard Park, and Kearns; second row, Town Engineer Wayne Bieler, Highway Superintendent Fred Piasecki, Senior Center Director Debbie Santiago, Trustee Jonathan McNatty, Colleen Baker, associate director of the Orchard Park Chamber of Commerce, and Recreation Director Ed Leak. Orchard Park Town Supervisor Patrick Keem and New York State Assemblyman Mickey Kearns announced at a press conference on Aug. 31 that $325,000 has been set aside in state funding for the Orchard Park Community Activity Center at Brush Mountain Park.

Kearns was able to secure $125,000 from the 2016 state budget and $200,000 from the 2017 state budget.

This will be a multi-generational community center that will combine the existing youth and senior programs into one facility. The center will house a main lobby area, children community center, a center for young adults and families, a senior center and a multi-use gymnasium.

“The Orchard Park Community Activity Center is an exciting project for the town,” Kearns said. “Providing recreational activities and programs to residents of all ages is essential to the foundation of a community. I look forward to the progress to come on the new community center and the opportunities it will provide to the residents of Orchard Park.”

The entire project comes out to approximately $16 million. Keem talked about how the community approved this project late last year.

“We put a referendum out to the community last November, and they voted over 2-to-1 in favor to spend up to $16 million,” Keem said. “We are hoping to reduce that with fundraising and donations that we receive.”

According to Keem, the target goal for starting this project is by July 2018, with the completion of the project by late July or early August of 2019. The Community Activity Council of Orchard Park is accepting tax-deductible donations to help fund this project as well.

“They say when you go to build something, good infrastructure leads to great development,” Kearns said. “This funding will be used for preliminary infrastructure work, parking lots and the gateway into the community center. I’m hopeful that there will be additional grants coming from other elected officials.”

Kearns was the first elected official to secure grant funding for this project, which is something for which Keem is very grateful.

“This announcement is a very exciting step on the road toward making our multi generational Community Activity Center a reality,” Keem said. “Thank you to Assemblyman Mickey Kearns for his hard work in securing grant monies, which will help fund this project.”

email: nickk@beenews.com

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