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Town of Hamburg, Frontier should be commended

There was a certain irony last Wednesday (May 1), as the sun beat brightly on the crowd gathered outside of the Frontier Community Educational Center on Southwestern Boulevard in Hamburg to listen to an announcement that the two factions reached a lease agreement. One which lead to the announcement that the town’s recreation department, youth services, senior services and adult daycare moving under one umbrella in the near future.

It was a perfect storm that ultimately led to this agreement.

In February, the Hamburg Town Board agreed collectively that it needed a new home for its Adult Daycare facility, currently housed at the corner of Pleasant Avenue and Haviland Place. The Frontier School District also learned BOCES was pulling out of the building at the end of the school year.

On one hand, you have departments that are seeing increases in enrollment and programs through the Town of Hamburg. On the other hand, BOCES is seeing a decline in its enrollment and maintaining operations at the Southwestern facility were not feasible.

The Town of Hamburg had a major need. The Frontier Central School District had the space. Tie it all together and you have a win-win that will benefit the town and the district.

The deal is a 10-year lease with a nine-year option. Frontier will continue to own the building and the town will take care of the annual bond payment, which Hamburg Town Supervisor Steven Walters said will range between $50,000 to $55,000. He said the figure will change yearly as rates fluctuate. The town will also be responsible to pay utilities, maintenance and insurance for the property.

The town board discussed the matter at its Feb. 11 work session, and Walters, along with Councilmembers Amy Ziegler and Joseph Collins all agreed that the town needed to find a long-term solution for the Adult Daycare facility.

This is because the as the program grew, there was a greater need for space.

At the end of the day, the town reached an agreement for a new home for the entire department only about two-and-a-half months after discussing it at the Feb. 11 work session.

Frontier Superintendent James Bodziak saw that the town had a need and reached out to Walters. In a short amount of time, it all came together.

Things could not have worked out better for both sides. The town will be inheriting a building that is still pretty new, as it opened in 2002. While there is still work to be done to get it ready inside, the town will not have to build a brand new structure. It will not need a new roof or major repairs. It will just need to be renovated to fit the town’s needs.

We would like to commend both the Frontier School District and the Town of Hamburg. Frontier officials realized they had a structure that could benefit the town as the district was losing a major client. The town on the other hand, by publicly stating their intent, caught the attention of the district, which did have the answer to their problems. So instead of the search dragging on for several months, now we know the town will take over operations on July 1, with an initial goal of being moved in by the start of 2014.

Congratulations to the town and the school district on a job well done.

We look forward to seeing the renovations when they are complete.

• The Sun would like offer its condolences to the family and friends, as well as to the Town of Evans Police Department, following the death of Officer Frederick Garrasi III, who was killed in an off-duty motorcycle accident on Route 5 last Friday afternoon (May 3).


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