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Lancaster

The town has hired Premier Presentations, a Clarence architectural firm, to design a new indoor baseball training facility in the town’s Westwood Park. The town will own, and borrow the money to build, the facility but the Lancaster-Depew Baseball League will operate the facility and pay back the town over 15 years by tapping into sponsorship deals, concessions revenue, usage fees and fundraising.

Premier architect Herbert Guenther should complete the schematic design for the building early next month, said Dave Mansell, the league’s director of travel and tournaments, and then would prepare the request for bids from companies seeking the construction contract.

The Town Board voted last Monday to retain Premier Presentations, though the resolution hiring Premier did not state how much the firm will be paid. The town received proposals from four architectural firms, Mansell said.

Details are subject to the final design submitted by Premier, but league officials have said plans call for a 10,000- to 12,000-square-foot practice area, with retractable batting cages, and 1,500 square feet for storage, a meeting room, changing rooms for athletes and bathrooms.

The estimated cost of the building has risen over the past year, as town and league officials have discussed the project, but Mansell in November said the facility is likely to cost $1.4 million, including the building, equipment and a parking lot.

The baseball league would pay back the construction costs, with interest, and cover maintenance and insurance costs. The town would construct utility and water connections to the building and would cover the cost of utilities.

The league is making progress on the new facility on several fronts. Mansell said Don Owens, a soil scientist with the Earth Dimensions environmental consulting company, examined the future site of the facility earlier this month and determined no wetlands are present.

And he said the league has received sponsorship commitments from four businesses and business owners for the building, including restaurateur Russell J. Salvatore, who has agreed to pay $10,000 per year toward the facility.

“Russ has been a tremendous contributor to the Lancaster community, for my whole life,” Mansell said. Other sponsors include Joe Basil Chevrolet, the Brown Chiari law firm and Intense Milk.

Also coming up:

• The Town Planning Board is scheduled to meet at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 2 in Town Hall, 21 Central Ave.

• The Village Zoning Board of Appeals meets at 7:15 p.m. Jan. 3 in the Municipal Building, 5423 Broadway. The board will consider a request from David Stypa, owner of a home on Ashley Drive, who wants permission to keep a six-foot fence in his backyard that exceeds the maximum height under the village code of four feet.

• The town clerk’s office is reminding residents that if they see a street light out and the light is in the town outside the villages of Lancaster and Depew they can call the Supervisor’s Office at 683-1610 to report the problem.

If the light is located in the Village of Lancaster, call New York State Electric & Gas at (800) 572-1111 to report the outage.