By Kellen M. Quigley

The course for the Happy Half marathon and 5K at Holiday Valley that runs through a large portion of the town of Great Valley has been approved by the town board.

Event co-organizer Doug Bush was present to inform the Great Valley Town Board of the plans for the Happy Half.

“This is the fifth year we’ve been putting on the event,” Bush said. “What we’re looking for is approval to use some of the town’s roads. There will be no changes from year’s past.”

Bush said the half-marathon would go out of Holiday Valley, down Route 219 into Great Valley, go around Depot Street, Grave Avenue and Mutton Hollow Road before heading down Klawitter Road and then back up Route 219 to Holiday Valley.

“For Klawitter, we have restricted traffic for people driving through for the safety of the runners. Obviously, the residents can still get through,” he explained. “We work with the Sheriff’s department and Ellicottville PD for the safety planning.”

Bush said there isn’t anything different from the past five years other than updating and renewing information, including proof of insurance. He said they also contact the residents on the roads they will be running on to let them know what to expect.

“We have just walked down the street and fliered them,” he added.

Bush said about 1,000 people participate each year, including about 400 people doing the half marathon that goes through the town.

Town Supervisor Dan Brown said the half marathon is a great event and is happy it’s happening again, noting that it brings people into the town for the weekend.

“For 1,000 people running along the road, that shows how good and well managed it is,” he added.

IN OTHER BUSINESS, the town is making plans for spring projects.

The board discussed going out to bid for mowing the various town properties. After years of separating the cemeteries from the other sites, the board bid everything together for one company to do in 2019, something the board said they’d like to do again this year.

“The vendors did their bidding accordingly so that one ended up being really high because no one wanted it, being the cemeteries,” said board member Becky Kruszynski. “So we put them altogether last year.”

The mowing contract would be for the town hall on Route 219, the memorial park at the corner of Route 98 and County Road 18 and the four town cemeteries, but mowing the Kill Buck park grounds may also be included.

“If the Kill Buck grounds start being used for athletics, consideration may have to be addressed,” Brown said.

Also at Kill Buck, the board approved having Brown get bids for renovations at the Kill Buck Memorial Pavilion to remove the old kitchen area to put in a small stage and remodeling another section at the pavilion into a new kitchen.

“We want a three-bay sink with a counter, cupboards and heavy electric plugs because everyone is using crockpots and everyone else down there,” he said.

Brown said because the current kitchen is nearly unusable and would not meeting county health codes, building a new kitchen for organizations to use during sporting events or large events to use during parties would be better.

“To be maintained down there, it has to be simple,” he added. “Right now, the water in that building is not simple, and nobody uses the water in there anyway.”

Board member Lori Finch said she wants to make sure a counter and window are still there for people to sell snacks out of.

The board is also planning on having the town hall painted this year after an initial discussion last April. Brown said town received funding for about $60,000 that would be used for the paint job.

The town is also planning on replacing some garage doors at the town’s highway department barn, at the request of Highway Superintendent Jack Harrington.

Also at the town hall, preparation for building a basketball court on the grounds are moving forward as the board authorized going to bid for the blacktop portion of the court.

The meeting was held in memory of Robert Williams, a life-long town resident who passed away Sunday, March 8.