Great Valley town board postpones basketball court project till 2020

The hopes of seeing a new court for kids to play basketball on behind the Great Valley Town Hall this year have been postponed by the town board after its regular meeting Monday.

GREAT VALLEY — The hopes of seeing a new court for kids to play basketball on behind the Great Valley Town Hall this year have been postponed by the town board after its regular meeting Monday.

A proposal by Shana Chudy, a Great Valley parent involved with Ellicottville’s youth basketball program, to build an outdoor court for kids to practice on in the town was originally proposed to the board in July with authorization to apply for a Cattaraugus County grant to help pay for the project.

Although the project was awarded $5,000, it would have been reimbursed to the town only after the court was completed, something the board didn’t see as a possibility for 2019.

“I don’t see it as feasible to try to plan this project going into the middle of August,” said Town Supervisor Dan Brown. “We got the middle of August, September and October. If we get rain in October it’s going to be a mess, and if we don’t finish the project we don’t get the funds. … We don’t have the money in the budget to front a project right now, even if we do get the $5,000 back.”

Chudy originally proposed a full-sized high school court of 84 feet by 50 feet, which the town board said could cost upwards of $10,000. In addition to the $5,000 from the grant, she said a GoFundMe fundraiser has additionally raised over $700 as of Aug. 12.

On Monday, Chudy said a half-sized or even quarter-sized court would be better than nothing, which would reduce the costs substantially.

“I reached out to many local businesses asking for support,” Chudy said. Local contractors also agreed to support the project through providing materials at lower costs, she said.

Board member Jerry Musall said there were too many uncertain variables with the project pertaining to additional materials and costs to commit to it Monday night. He also mentioned the need for a runoff area and a buffer around the court, which would increase the size of space needed.

Although Chudy’s original plan had a concrete surface for the court, Brown said the town should look into other materials.

“It chips, it flakes, it cracks. If it does that, we’ll be right back to square one or even worse because we’ll have to jackhammer it all out,” Brown said of using concrete. “The courts I’ve been looking at are blacktop. We can do that in-house. We can’t build something that we can’t maintain.”

Board member Sandy Goode said the space behind the town hall is finite already and they need to figure out what the best use of the land is with the playground and baseball field already there.

“I’m all for it, but I want to make sure where we pour concrete is the right spot because we can’t just pick it up and move it,” she added.

Later in the meeting, the board authorized Mark D. Alianello, of MDA Engineers, to draw up a plan on how the town could best use the space behind the town hall in order to have a multi-use recreational area for the community that includes an outdoor court.

“A basketball court is fine, but what else can the basketball court be used for,” Brown said. “It’s a lot easier to complete something when you have a plan to get there.”

Board member Becky Kruszynski said she would like to see the project happen, but agreed it wouldn’t be possible to do by the end of 2019. She said it would be better if the board and Chudy work together to get a plan in place for 2020, build some of the cost into next year’s budget and work over the fall and winter to raise the rest of the funds needed.

“We’ll do anything for the kids, but I wish we could have started the project earlier,” added board member Lori Finch. “There’s just too many unanswered things to figure out. … We can start on it now, figure out what it will cost in the spring and get it into the budget now.”

IN OTHER BUSINESS, the board accepted the low bid of $46,679 from Kellner, LLC of Olean, to complete the Bonn Val water treatment upgrades.

Alianello, the engineer for the project, said the next step would be to have Kellner, LLC meet with him to go over the project and see if the costs could come down any further.

The board also accepted the low bid of $13,800 by board member Jerry Musall to install a new roof on the town hall building. Brown said the town received no bids the first time it was advertised and Musall’s bid was the only one submitted the second time. Musall abstained from voting.

(Contact managing editor Kellen Quigley at kquigleysp@gmail.com)