Weekly Feature



2018-09-13 / Front Page

Aurora receives state funding for joint municipal building

by KATE PELCZYNSKI
Editor

The Town of Aurora is getting some financial help with the new joint town/village hall thanks to a grant from state Sen. Patrick Gallivan. During a meeting on Monday, Aurora Town Supervisor Jim Bach announced that the senator has secured $150,000 in funding for the new building.

Originally, Bach said he had reached out to Gallivan about funding to update the East Aurora Senior Center. Recently, the center has undergone renovations including new windows and carpeting as well as new exercise equipment, all thanks to a grant from Gallivan. Bach said Gallivan was impressed with the cooperation between the village and town, and offered to help with the new building.

“He said, ‘I really like that idea. I want to see if I can give you some money for that,’” Bach said. “It was kind of a shock, but he sent me a letter the other day saying [he] approved $150,000 to help with the additional cost to town hall.”

The funding comes from a Dormitory Authority of the State of New York grant, which is given to municipalities to support community and economic development. Bach said he also applied for a grant from the Community Development Block Grant program for about $200,000 to $300,000 but the town did not receive the money.

Bach said that while the town didn’t get the grant, it did score eighth on a list of those eligible for the grant. He said the town will try again next year to obtain the money, although there are no guarantees.

While residents won’t see any construction on the building until the spring, the parking lot at the Senior Center will undergo renovations starting in November. Bach said he hopes to get bids out on the new building starting in January.

“Things are starting to roll along pretty good,” he said.

Residents will get the chance to learn more about the project during an upcoming forum, which is scheduled for mid-October. During the forum, residents will get a look at the floor plans, as well as hear from architects. There will also be a chance to ask questions about the project, although Bach cautions that he will not have information on the final cost until November. He said once he knows those numbers, he plans to hold a separate meeting.

He also discussed the benefits the move could provide for both the town and the village. “I think it’s a building block for future consolidations. Who knows what we can do as far as saving money in the future as far as shared services,” he said. “Maybe through attrition we eliminate some jobs.”

Bach also praised village leaders for opening the lines of communication, saying the board has been good to work with.

“It’s nice to have the two boards working together,” he said. “I’m enjoying it. It’s a lot more fun these days.”

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