Tonawanda News

January 29, 2013

Brighton batting cages to be improved

By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA —  The town board approved funding for improvements to Brighton Park’s batting cages, which will cost $80,000, at the body’s regular meeting Monday night. 

Jeff Ehlers, director of the Youth, Parks and Recreation department, said the work on the cages should be complete by spring. The machines, cages and wiring will be replaced, Ehlers said.

“It’s being held together with Band-Aids,” Ehlers said. “It’s all original from when it was built.”

Board members also mentioned construction to take place on the tennis courts at Mang Park. The town recently received $30,000 from the state to go toward the improvements, which will also be complete by spring. 

Ehlers said the court base will be fixed, resurfaced and the fencing will be replaced. 

Ehlers was also formally appointed to the director position Monday, an announcement that was greeted with applause and congratulations. Dan Wiles, Ehler’s predecessor, retired last week after almost 40 years working for the town. 

Councilman Joseph Emminger said the search for the position was nationwide, with applications coming from Tennessee and Texas. 

“Jeff was one of eight applications we interviewed,” Councilman Dan Crangle said. “There is no question he comes highly qualified, not only because of his 28 1/2 years of service to the town.” 

The board also set a hearing for phase three of the Parker-Fries sewer project at Monday’s meeting. The hearing will take place at 7:30 p.m. during the board’s regular meeting Feb. 11, and Director of Water Resources Ken Maving will be giving a presentation on phase three, which is expected to cost $16 million. 

Phase three is set to begin in the fall, and to get funding for 2013, the town must submit an application to the Environmental Facilities Corporation by Feb. 1. 

Maving said they have done extensive work on the application and Monday, the board approved the supervisor to sign off on the documents pertaining to the application.

Maving also told the board that sewer infiltration work on Cleveland and Orchard Drive is complete, with just punch list and restoration to be complete once spring hits. 

Despite the positive report, Maving also notified the board of some bad news — 21 water line breaks occurred last week, largely due to the inclement weather.

“We’ve had a few weeks that have been really bad,” Maving said. “Hopefully it won’t continue, but it’s the season.” 

Emminger closed the meeting by urging residents to pay attention to the state’s budget talks, citing the proposal to increase minimum wage to $8.75. 

“There are a few things they are talking about may impact your pocketbooks, as well as the town’s finances,” he said. 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150