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Southern Erie County

Efforts to return an iconic clock to the Village of Springville, more than 40 years after one was last on Main Street, are gaining ground thanks to enthusiastic support from residents, local officials said.

David Batterson, town historian and president of the Concord Historical Society, spearheaded a fundraising campaign and said that in just four weeks more than half of the $40,000 cost has been raised through cash and pledges.

“This has definitely been well received by the community,” Batterson said. “We’re amazed. The gold sponsorships have been very strong.”

That donation level, between $500 and $4,999, allows for a donor’s family name to be placed onto the clock post and comes with a miniature clock as a thank-you gift.

Of the available corporate sponsorships – which offer inscription of a company’s name onto one of four bronze plaques attached to the sides of the granite foundation – only one spot remains unsold. Those run $5,000 each.

The clock committee’s search for the original clock, erected in 1928 at the corner of Main and Mechanic streets in front of Farmers Bank (eventually an M&T branch), came up short. It was auctioned off in 1971 and, as far as Batterson knows, wound up somewhere in Pennsylvania.

To replace it, the clock committee has chosen an American-made four-faced clock. The 16-foot timepiece will play traditional Westminster chimes every hour and, on the quarter hour, have the ability to play any of 700 tunes.

It will herald a changing streetscape, Batterson said. New storefronts have begun to spring up on the village’s Main Street. Of 15 projects submitted under the New York Main Street grant program – worth $250,000 to Springville – 12 have been approved.

At the center of all this renewal are plans to have the clock standing at the same spot as the original version – in a small park currently under renovation by the village. The piece of land was known as M&T Park before the bank donated it to the Historical Society. It came to be known as Pocket Park for its small size. Lately, it’s been referred to by a new sobriquet: Community Clock Park.

Silver and bronze sponsorships vary from $50 to $499. Any donation can be mailed to the Springville Community Clock Committee c/o Concord Historical Society, P.O. Box 425, Springville 14141.

Also this week:

• The Boston Conservation Advisory Council will meet at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday in Boston Town Hall, 8500 Boston State Road.

• The Boston Town Board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday to go over its agenda, followed by a regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. in Boston Town Hall.

• The Road Runners will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Eden Elementary School, 8289 N. Main St., as part of the town’s Music on Main Street series.

• The Eden Central School Board will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Junior/Senior High School cafeteria, 3150 Schoolview Road.

• On Tuesday, the Elma Town Board will meet in a double meeting beginning at 6 p.m. with a work session followed by a regular town board meeting at 7 p.m. which will begin with a public hearing on an amendment to the building code regarding a permit to place fill material. The amendment will include three exemptions as follows: driveways and parking lots, new house permits and industrial and commercial sites as these applicants have to go through a site plan process with the Planning Board.

The new code application changes includes origin of fill, purpose and extent of the operation, type of fill and affirmation of owner clause that the fill brought in is free of contaminants and if later is found to have some, must be removed immediately.

Violations are subject to fines by the state Department of Environmental Conservation guidelines.

The agenda for the town meeting portion will include a business use permit for an open air market at Seneca St. and Transit Road to sell plants, flowers and seasonal produce; a business use permit for Shelley’s Ice Cream Stand at the Elma Plaza. Seasonal hours to be noon to 11 p.m. with off season hours to be announced; bids to be opened for a new Water Department truck; and a request by American Grill Restaurant, Seneca St., to have a picnic grove behind the restaurant. The restaurant is in East Aurora but the vacant land behind it is in the Town of Elma.

• The Elma Kiwanis Club will hold its annual Duck Drop at the Village Green Park, Bowen Road on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proceeds to benefit Mercy Flight. A helicopter will arrive at noon and the duck drop will begin at 1 p.m. The three winning ducks will be the ones to either hit the target on the field or are the closest to it. There will be refreshments available and fun.

• The Marilla Town Board will meet in a work session at 7 p.m. in the upper room of the Town Hall at 1740 Two Rod Road to discuss an application for a flag lot of 22 acres at 13287 Bullis Road.

• The Western New York Land Conservancy is hosting a geology hike through the Hunter’s Creek gorge at Kenneglenn Nature Preserve in Wales from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. The hike will be led by Stan Radon, a geologist with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Stan teaches geology, energy, and environmental classes at SUNY Buffalo State and Daemen College.

“The Kenneglenn Nature Preserve is the crown jewel of the Land Conservancy’s numerous protected properties, and the gorge is one of the most special natural places in all of Western New York,” said Nancy Smith, executive director of the land conservancy.

The hike is free and open to the public, but attendees must register in advance by calling the Land Conservancy at 687-1225, or by emailing info@wnylc.org. Space is limited. The hike is appropriate for people of all ages, but hikers should be prepared to walk in the creek with shoes that have great traction. Parking is available at the Kenneglenn Nature Preserve in front of the Land Conservancy office.