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Village of Lancaster requests grant funds for two projects

BY: Jennifer Lysiak, Lancaster Editor | October 25, 2012

LANCASTER- The Village of Lancaster Board voted Monday night to apply for the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a grant intended to be used for low and moderate areas in the village, putting forth two projects that would benefit village residents.

The first project, listed as the village’s No.1 priority, is the reconstruction of existing sidewalks for the north end of the village, which include areas on Brady and Vandenberg avenues, and Veterans Drive.

Village of Lancaster Trustee Edward Marki noted that these sidewalks are near Keysa Park where the skate park will potentially have its new home.

The second project, listed as priority No. 2, the village agreed to file along with the Town of Lancaster funds for the skate park. A week ago, the town requested block grant funds for reconstruction of handicapped accessible curb aprons and construction of the skate park.

“We have a better opportunity to get the grant, because the sidewalks will benefit more people than the skate park,” said Marki. “So by starting with that as priority No. 1 the state gives us a better standing. Even though, we would rather have the skate park No. 1 we would lose against other communities who put forth a measure that would benefit more people. So, that is why we put the sidewalks first, because overall we want to get the grant.”

The skate park which is being built to memorialize 14-year-old Bryce Buchholz, an avid BMX rider, who in May was struck and killed by a drunk driver, has been said to cost an estimated $150,000.

William Buchholz, Bryce’s father, said during the meeting that so far they have raised $70,000.

“We have targeted $150,000 for the skate park,” said Buchholz. “We’re not sure if that is going to enough or not, but we are going to make the $150,000. That we committed too. If we get more money, through the federal or state grants, it is only going to make the park that much better.”

Anne Farmer, Bryce’s aunt, said with the sport of skateboarding growing approximately 10 percent every year, a safe place is needed for youths, and even adults.

“The skate park can be very beneficial,” commented Farmer. “If we work together as a community, obviously you don’t raise $70,000 in four to five months without a community participating. The community is on board. If we all work together we can make this be something great for Lancaster.”

Making it clear to the village board as to how much a skate park is wanted in the area about 15 to 20 youths, some with their skateboards in hand, came to the meeting to show their support.

“We really want a skate park,” said Lancaster High School sophomore, Emily Handy. “We have been waiting a really long time for it and we hope you [the board] notices that we help with the fund-raisers and we wear our shirts whenever.”

Village of Lancaster Mayor Paul Maute made it clear to Handy and the audience that the board is in full support of the skate park.

“We are in favor of making it happen,” he said.

Marki added he and the board hope the park will help with some of the issues occurring in the Central Business District and overall it is a great idea to have a park with so many youths interested in this sport.

Buchholz said he would really like this park not only to be for Town and Village of Lancaster residents, but for youths who live in Depew, Clarence, and West Seneca, etc.

“They all want to come here,” said Buchholz. “I think that it would not only be good for the park, but for the businesses on Main Street and Central Avenue. So, any more funding we can get; we are all for.”

In other village news:

• The board approved to authorize the installation of a wireless network at the Municipal Building and the Department of Public Works (DPW) for a cost not to exceed $5,000.

• John A. Robinson IV’s membership to the Eagle Hose Company of the Lancaster Fire Department was approved.

• Bids will be advertised for the purchase of a new salt truck for the DPW.

• Marki made a motion to bid out the demolition of 28 Hinchey Ave. It was approved.

The next Village of Lancaster Board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, in the Municipal Building Council Chambers, 5423 Broadway, Lancaster.

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