Wet weather delays call of 'Play ball!'by Olivia
Normally, the baseball/softball season at Wheatfield town parks would begin this coming Monday.
"That's just not going to happen this year," according to town Recreation Director Ed Sturgeon.
"We had record-setting rainfall in April and it's not over yet," Sturgeon said Monday after telling the Town Board that preparation of ball diamonds in Fairmount, Mario, Legion and Adams parks was at least three weeks behind previous years due to cold, wet weather. "We're going to have to schedule doubleheaders just to make it up."
The projected start date to play ball is now May 16.
The delay affects about 40 teams, from 5-year-olds right up to the men's leagues, Sturgeon said.
In other matters:
•The board amended the town's budget to include annual payments of $5,000 each to the Niagara Military Affairs Council and the Niagara Community Action Program. Payments to the two agencies, one which lobbies for the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station and the other which provides weatherization and other assistance to low income families, previously had been cut out of the budget. Supervisor Robert Cliffe said the increase in sales tax revenues allows the payments to be reinstated. The new census figures, showing significant growth in Wheatfield, increased the town's share of the county's sales tax revenues.
•The board approved a motion to have Budget Director Ed Mongold conduct an audit and make recommendations for any needed changes in procedure on money collected in all town departments other than by the town clerk. The town clerk's department already has been reviewed.
•The board approved a $1,258.70 settlement of the town's claim against Newcal Construction for damage done by the developer to the water/sewer line while digging at Crestwood, off Niagara Falls Boulevard. According to Rich Donner, water/sewer director, the amount covers the cost of overtime for repairs and water loss.
•The board requested lead agency status for the State Environmental Quality Review process for major subdivision approval for Aidan Estates, formerly known as the Barone Nash Road Subdivision. The proposed 14-lot, single-family subdivision would be located on a 12_-acre parcel between 7062 and 7592 Nash Road.
•The board authorized the Highway Department to purchase a wheel loader for the state bid price of $135,351.06. The old 1996 loader will be kept, but Highway Superintendent Art Kroening, said "We have to have something dependable, especially in the winter when we're loading salt." The board also accepted the low bid of $2,780 from Strenkoski Brothers Construction to replace brick around the door at the highway garage.
•Councilman Kenneth Retzlaff reported that the town's Farmers Market is expected to open in mid-June. The site on the town hall campus will be moved closer to the Wheatfield Community Center to allow more parking.
Since the Farmers Market Committee has a zero budget, business people willing to support the cost of advertising the event are being sought, he said.
•Councilman Gil Doucet reported that the Wheatfield Garden Club is selling discount coupons to Treichler's Greenhouse as a fundraiser.
•Councilman Larry Helwig reminded the board that the annual Boy Scout Pack 833 Liberty Drive Cleanup will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Frontier Firehall. "Any extra help would be appreciated," he said.
•The board scheduled a public hearing for 7:15 p.m. May 23 on amending the town code to include changes in state law regarding the increase in bidding requirements from $10,000 to $20,000 on town purchases and allowing electronic bidding.•The next Town Board meeting will be Monday, May 9. A public hearing will be held at 7:15 p.m. on a rezoning request for the Driftwood Motel, 2754 Niagara Falls Blvd., followed by the regular meeting at 7:30 p.m.