By Kellen M. Quigley

In preparation for the nice weather, the Great Valley Town Board at its regular meeting April 8 awarded the mowing contract for town properties for 2019.

Marshal DePonceau of MAD Property Management, of Salamanca, was awarded the maintenance of seven of the town’s properties with the low bid of $7,250.

Town Supervisor Daniel Brown said DePonceau would be responsible for mowing the town hall, memorial park and Kill Buck park as well as the Kill Buck, Chamberlin, Willoughby and Sugar Town cemeteries.

“I’ve taken care of the Wildwood Cemetery for the past two years, which is 27 acres, so I feel confident that I can take care of you too,” he said.

In past years, the town awarded to separate contracts, one for the cemeteries and one for the town and parks, but the board decided to bid them all as one to see if it would result in a lower price overall.

When doing the town hall, the board asked DePonceau to coordinate mowing around the youth baseball game schedule so the field is mowed the day before a game.

In addition to the regular maintenance, Brown said he and several employees in the highway department did some spring cleanup work at the ball field earlier this month, including rolling the field, trimming underbrush, layed down new infield sand and refurbished some old bleachers for parents to sit on during games.

IN OTHER BUSINESS, the town board continues to work on a project to install a new playground at the Kill Buck Park, which includes applying for a grant for funding it.

The town is looking to work with the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and KaBOOM! for the project as part of their Play Everywhere initiative.

Brown said he, board member Becky Kruszynski and town attorney Peter J. Sorgi recently met with Sandi Brundage, director of the Salamanca Youth Bureau, about how to go about a project. Brundage had been instrumental in a 2018 playground project in Salamanca.

Sorgi said the town had some ideas of what they wanted going into the meeting, but learned a lot about what they need to do 

“The money doesn’t go too far, so the more we get the better,” he said. “Dan went with me when we went out and saw space the Kill Buck park and now I understand the size of it and what can be done out there.”

With the Wilson Foundation’s interest in having some space of sporting or adult activities, Sorgi said it would be best to go bigger first and see what can be funded.

As part of the process, the board discussed using the data from income study for the sewer project as a way to apply for grants for the playground project.

“It’s important that the residents of Kill Buck send that back in so we can use not only for the sewer study but anything moving forward,” Brown added.

Several years ago, the town installed a small playground behind the town hall for the youth summer program. Brown said he would reach out to the equipment rep they used then for help in deciding what to get for the Kill Buck project.

“I think we need to paint the picture as the whole thing being a destination, not just for kids to come by and play, but for weekend parties and for all ages,” Sorgi said.

ALSO OF NOTE, the town is preparing to do memorial engraving on the stones at the Great Valley Memorial Park at the intersection of Route 219 and Route 98.

Brown said the company that does that is planning to do it as soon as the good weather arrives, so anyone who wants a named of a loved one on the wall needs to contact the town as soon as possible.

“Once it’s done, I don’t know when we’ll have enough names to make it worthwhile for them to come back,” he added. 

The April 8 meeting was held in memory of Gregory Kent and Bruce Bingerman, two Great Valley residents who had recently passed away.