Becky Pierce, director of the Great Valley Summer Youth Program
Becky Pierce, director of the Great Valley Summer Youth Program

Kill Buck to Merge with Great Valley Youth Program

By Mary Fox

The Great Valley Town Board met on Oct. 13, at 7:30 at the town hall.  A 7 p.m. public hearing was held prior to the start of the meeting regarding the sale of the Kill Buck post office property to the Kill Buck Fire Company and the Property Tax Freeze Credit proposed by New York State.

Murry Haines was present to represent the Kill Buck Fire Department regarding the sale of the post office property to the fire department.

“We have consulted with Phil Moyer regarding the insurance,” said Haines, “and done all requested of us by the board.  We are ready to go ahead with the sale.”

A tax issue is yet to be resolved before the sale can be finalized.

Carl Edwards, county legislator, reported from a recent meeting of county town supervisors that the proposed tax refund (which could amount to as little as $27 in the county), comes with a hidden cost to the towns in the form of more state control over shared services between towns.

According to Edwards, it is an effort to force towns to become more dependent on the state. Shared services are in effect now, and forcing more will ultimately cripple the towns to the point where it is being dictated to by the state.

“All towns are concerned,” said Edwards. “While a tax refund sounds great, it is a part of the politics of an election year. The biggest problems in the state are high taxes and supervision of the towns. It will not accomplish what needs to be done. Towns and villages are efficient. The real problem is at the state level.”

Becky Pierce, director of the Great Valley Summer Youth Program, was present to give a report on the program.

“Sixty-four children were registered at the Great Valley Town Hall site this summer,” said Pierce. “Twenty-four were new to the program. Fifteen children were registered at the Kill Buck site.”

Pierce felt the small numbers for Kill Buck were due to the traffic in the area and not being able to get in and out.

“Due to low numbers in Kill Buck and the possibility to provide better programming, consolidation of the two programs makes sense,” said Supervisor Dan Brown.

Pierce noted that very few children come on Fridays and suggested that Fridays be eliminated from the program making it a four-day week.

“I would be able to do more field trips next year, and give the kids a more varied program,” said Pierce, about reducing the program to fewer days.

“We would like to get Great Valley Youth Program T-shirts for the workers so kids and parents will be able to identify and relate to the supervisors,” said Brown. “We are also required to do background checks, which shouldn’t be an issue, but to make sure there are no problems.”

It was agreed to consolidate the Kill Buck and Great Valley programs to meet at the Great Valley Town Hall and eliminate Fridays from the program.

Brown went on to emphasize that, “next year I want to see a playground on the grounds of the Town Hall that will be available for the youth program as well as the public anytime.  In the future I envision a pavilion for families to have picnics and for other uses.”

“We now have $10,000 to spend. A basic playground costs $30,000–$40,000,” said council woman Finch, Summer Youth Program board member.

Brown said, “We will need public support to raise money to complete this project, perhaps in the form of fundraisers or public donations. It is a worthwhile cause, especially if we consolidate the two districts.”

“We have one of the best youth programs of any town, remarkably well run,” continued Brown.

The issue of property maintenance was discussed.

“We now have a law in place to deal with violators. I want something done,” said Jim Evans, a town citizen, referring to his own frustration with neighbors violating the ordinance.

Brown said he and Town Highway Superintendent Harrington had been in contact with National Grid for all new, energy efficient lighting in and outside the town buildings at a cost of $3,700 and would have to be put out to bid.

The next meeting of the Great Valley Town Board will be Nov. 10, 2014 at the Town Hall.