The Town of Lancaster will seek a $100,000 federal grant to pay for the replacement of sidewalks and curb cuts, the Town Board decided Monday night.
The sidewalks and curb cuts are the town’s highest priority for the federal Community Development Block Grant program, but the town’s application as a second option will seek funding for a skateboarding and biking park that would be built in town-operated Keysa Park.
“The organization for the skate park has not asked us for funding, so I think it just makes sense for it to be as the second priority,” Supervisor Dino J. Fudoli said at the work session that preceded the full board meeting.
The town is working closely with the village on the grant, and officials from both municipalities say they hope to submit a joint application that ranks the projects in the same order of priority.
The Village Board will vote on its application Monday, and Mayor Paul M. Maute said village officials will continue to discuss the grant request with their town counterparts before then.
“Our goal is to work hand in hand with the town,” Maute said in an interview.
The Town Board’s vote came two weeks after board members agreed informally at a work session to rank the skate park as the highest priority in the grant application and a new van for the town’s Senior Center as its second priority.
Sue Barnes, the town’s grant-writing consultant, said Oct. 1 that second-priority projects sometimes receive funding but that third-choice projects rarely do.
The sidewalks and curb cuts were discussed but, based on the consensus from that evening, would not be included in the application.
However, town and village officials talked about the funding priorities at length over the last two weeks and reached a different conclusion.
Fudoli said the town took the senior citizens van off the application after Assemblyman Dennis H. Gabryszak, D-Cheektowaga, assured Fudoli that he could obtain state funding for a new van.
Some of the sidewalks and curb cuts that are most in need of repair are located within the village limits, and village officials previously said that this project was a high priority for them.
Village and town officials emphasized their staunch support for the skate park, which is meant to honor the memory of Bryce Buchholz, a teenager killed in May by a drunken driver, and to give skateboarders and BMX bikers who flock to downtown Lancaster another place to ride and perform tricks.
Fudoli noted the continuing success of the volunteers who are raising money for the skate park and said the town likely will do its part by providing space for the skate park in its Keysa Park.
Resident Lee Chowaniec welcomed the skate park’s lower grant ranking, saying during Monday’s public comment session that he believes the park should be built with private donations, not taxpayer money.
Also Monday, the Town Board voted to jointly seek bids with the Village of Depew on a new garbage disposal contract for the municipalities.
The Town of Lancaster now contracts with Covanta Energy to dispose of its waste, a contract that expires Dec. 31.
Fudoli said the town’s current tipping fee is about $50 per ton.
Town and Depew officials said they hope they will be able to secure a lower tipping fee by submitting a combined request for bids.
The town separately contracts with Waste Management for garbage pickup, and Fudoli said he’s optimistic that Waste Management will submit an attractive bid in an effort to win both contracts.
A previous version of this article stated all of the sidewalks and curb cuts were located within the Village of Lancaster, based on remarks made by Supervisor Dino J. Fudoli at Monday night’s work session. The article was updated to reflect the fact that the replacements would be made throughout the Town of Lancaster.