By Kellen M. Quigley
A place for anyone wishing to practice their foul shots or pick up a quick game of 3-on-3 basketball could soon becoming to the grounds behind the Great Valley Town Hall.
At its regular Monday meeting, the Great Valley Town Board heard a proposal from Shana Chudy, a Great Valley resident who helps with Ellicottville’s youth basketball program, asking for a community basketball court be built at the town hall.
“We have about 120 Great Valley youth that participate. Right now, as it stands, we don’t have a spot to play,” she said, adding that Ellicottville school is closed in the summer and there are no courts in Great Valley.
“We walked the grounds out back here and there’s enough room out there for it,” Town Supervisor Dan Brown said of the field behind the town hall.
Chudy said she is applying for a $4,000 grant through the Cattaraugus County Youth Bureau to help offset the costs of the potential court. The town board authorized Brown to sign the application to make the town a co-sponsor of the project.
County Legislator Susan Labuhn, D-Salamanca, said this is the last year of the grant, so the $4,000 could only be used for a 2019 project.
“There’s nothing lost by applying. We didn’t deny anybody’s applications last year,” she said. “There’s money there, and we just try to help the youth as best we can.”
Originally, Chudy proposed a full-size court, which is 94 feet by 50 feet, but the town board expressed concern about securing funds to install the full court. Brown said the minimum amount of concrete needed would cost about $7,000 and additional costs for base materials under the court and labor could bring the cost up to about $15,000.
“We don’t have any more money to add to it. We’re halfway through our budget year,” Brown said. “We can’t do this pour ourselves. We would need people to do it since it needs to be seamless and perfect.”
Chudy said she has talked with several locals as potential volunteers to perform the labor. She said she’s also reached out to individuals and groups for donations and already has funding for the hoops.
“We’re not worried about lines at this point,” she added. “We’re going as minimal as possible to get that court out there so those kids can play.”
Board member Jerry Musall recommended starting with half a court this year to essentially reduce the cost by 50 percent and then look at installing the second half in the future if funds are available.
“We just have to come up with a couple grand more than the grant money,” he added.
Until the next meeting, the town board will help to finalize plans for the project while Chudy waits to hear from the county concerning the grant.
IN OTHER BUSINESS, the town board discussed the possibility of a boat launch along the Great Valley Creek with potential funding from the county.
The launch could not be installed on privately owned property, but the board suggested the volunteer fire company’s property off of Klawitter Road. County Legislator David Koch, D-Salamanca, said he would look into whether that could work or not.
Meanwhile, the town will discuss with the fire company if they want a launch site on that property. If not, the board would look at other town-owned property along the creek.
Labuhn said they would need a proposal from the town for the funds by September before the county begins budget sessions.
The town board also authorized the use of $400 from the Kill Buck Pavilion fund be used to help purchase items needed for the Kill Buck Community Picnic. Additionally, the town authorized the purchase of three 8-foot-long collapsable tables for the pavilion so a total of nine are available for events.
The board also authorized the town supervisor, clerk, planning and zoning board chair, code enforcement officer and council members to subscribe to an email service through the town’s website so they each have email accounts for conducting only town business.
The meeting was held in memory of Dan Bierfeldt, who worked for the town for several years, and Jane Moore, who was a member of the fire department auxiliary.