It’s only two months away, and no one knew Wednesday night who would organize this year’s Fourth of July parade in Orchard Park.
“What’s happening?” Councilman David Kaczor asked at the Town Board work session Wednesday. “Is the town going to do it again?”
The Orchard Park Chamber of Commerce decided last March not to continue organizing the annual event it had run for more than 30 years. The town had sent letters to nonprofit groups that had sponsored events, informing them it was instituting a fee structure to pay for town costs. Before the town could say “The fee doesn’t apply to Orchard Park groups,” the Chamber decided the parade did not forward its mission of benefitting businesses, since it is held at 8 p.m., when most businesses are closed.
Town Attorney John Bailey said he has applied to the state for a permit to hold the parade on Quaker Street, Route 20A, the usual route.
Since there is no group or parade director, Town Board members looked to Councilman Eugene Majchrzak, whose wife, Virgie, stepped up last year to organize the parade.
Majchrzak said he would ask her and “see what’s on her plate.”
“I would hate to see the parade go by the wayside,” Kaczor said.
“I don’t know, it’s a big doing,” Supervisor Janis Colarusso said. “We need to know, because if she’s not going to do it, I don’t know who would. If a volunteer doesn’t come up, I don’t’ think it should be the responsibility of this board.”
Majchrzak said the parade has never been a Town Board function.
Also Wednesday night at their regular meeting, board members promoted three police officers to lieutenant: Joseph Ray, who has been with the department 20 years, Jason Schiedel, a 12-year member of the force, and Patrick Fitzgerald, who became an officer in 2005. They will be paid $79,891 per year.