County approves funds for Bullard Park, Holley waterline and Medina pedestrian bridge

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 March 2019 at 11:12 am

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with solid numbers for the three municipalities. The original dollar amounts were higher, but they were amounts that were described as “not to exceed.”

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature has approved divvying up $223,000 in funding for handicapped accessible projects at Bullard Park in Albion, a pedestrian bridge in Medina and a portion of a waterline in Holley.

The money comes from a revolving-loan fund that was administered by the Orleans Economic Development Agency. The state is requiring those funds be ended with the money staying in the community for projects if they are for handicapped accessible initiatives or if they assist a neighborhood that is predominantly low-income.

The County Legislature had a public hearing on Thursday for the projects in Albion and Holley. The Legislature agreed to have $97,500 go towards Bullard Park in Albion.

That money comes at a perfect time for the village, said Deputy Mayor Gary Katsanis. The village will do a lot of work this year at the park, with a new amphitheater, utility building, splash pad and other improvements.

The village in December 2016 was awarded a $499,605 state grant for Bullard upgrades with the village providing $166,370 with in kind-services or funding.

“We’ve been trying for years to upgrade the park,” Katsanis said during Thursday’s public hearing. “This funding and this kind of support couldn’t have hit us at a better time.”

The $111,500 won’t count towards the village’s local share in the project. It will go towards handicapped accessibility projects.

“We can now carry this through in a way that we wouldn’t otherwise have been able to do,” he told county legislators.

In Holley, the Legislature approved $28,000 towards a new waterline on Thomas Street.

Jim Whipple, the Orleans EDA executive director, praised village officials, including code enforcement officer Ron Vendetti, for getting the paperwork together so Holley was eligible for the funding.

The Legislature last week approved $97,500 to Medina for a new pedestrian bridge over Oak Orchard Creek on Route 31A. The revolving-loan fund also included $55,000 from the Village of Medina for the bridge and $130,000 from the Town of Shelby for the project.

The communities all had economic development projects with the revolving-loan fund. The money can only go to municipalities where businesses used the fund.

The section of Maple Ridge by the creek has become busier with a housing development, several new businesses and also the GCC campus center.

The pedestrian bridge and sidewalks on Maple Ridge have been sought by the village for several years but Medina didn’t receive grants for the project.

Mayor Mike Sidari has said area by the creek is narrow and seems to funnel pedestrians close to the road. It has been identified as a safety concern for several years.

The county decided to equally split $97,500 to the villages of Albion and Medina, which are nearly the same population with about 6,000 residents each. Holley got less than a third of what those two villages are getting. Holley has about 1,800 residents, less a third of the population in Albion and Medina.

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