Albion rec director would like to see volleyball, bocce and pickleball courts

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 March 2023 at 1:11 pm

ALBION – Bullard Park would become an even bigger community asset with courts for volleyball, bocce and pickleball, the Village Board was told on Wednesday.

John Grillo, the village’s long-time recreation director, said those courts wouldn’t cost much to put in and maintain.

He has heard from community members asking for those courts at Bullard. Some people also would like to see a horseshoe playing area.

Grillo said the park has been busier since the new splash park and playground equipment were installed about two years ago. Last year’s summer park’s program averaged 70 kids a day, Grillo said.

The village Department of Public Works will be putting in a disc golf course in the spring with baskets and tee-off areas.

Grillo said he would like to see the bocce, pickleball and volleyball spaces ready by summer. The pickleball could perhaps go where there was a former pavilion near the old bathrooms. That spot still has the asphalt on top of a concrete base. The asphalt would likely need to be removed with new asphalt put down, said Village Trustee Tim McMurray.

The ideas are in the discussion stage right now, Grillo said.

He told the board there is also interest and support in the community to bring back the July 3rd fireworks show which was at Bullard Park.

In other action at Wednesday’s meeting:

The Village Board appointed Chris Kinter as a part-time code enforcement officer at $25 per hour, not to exceed 1,040 hours in a year.

Kinter was a member of the Albion Planning Board and also works at the Town of Albion code officer.

Trustee McMurray abstained from the vote, saying the village should have posted the position and better advertised it.

Mayor Angel Javier Jr., Deputy Mayor Joyce Riley and Trustee Zack Burgess voted for Kinter.

“He is a known quantity and he has served our community well,” Riley said.

In another codes issue, the village’s other part-time code enforcement officer, Anne Podolak, requested that former code officer Ron Vendetti be retained as a consultant to share how handled court cases in the role, and also how he was able to generate so much in revenue for the office. Podolak said Vendetti generated more money for the village through the code office than his successors.

“I want to know his processes and procedures,” Podolak told the Village Board.

Riley, the deputy mayor, made a motion for Vendetti to be retained as a consultant for up to 20 hours in the next two months but no one else backed that motion.

“We’re not asking Mr. Vendetti to come back,” Riley said. “We’re asking Mr. Vendetti for his expertise.”

Fire Chief Rob Conner informed the village he will be done as the Fire Department’s leader on May 1.

“He has done a yeoman’s job leading his men and making sure the village is safe,” Riley said.

The board approved closing East State Street from Main to Platt on April 8 for the second annual Easter Egg Hunt, an event organized by the Royal Body Shop Outreach Ministries.

The board also approved use of Mount Albion Cemetery on march 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the Wayne A. Burlison Colon Cancer Awareness Run. That 5K starts near the elementary school and goes along Route 31 for a loop in the cemetery and then heads back down Route 31 to the school.