By Edie Johnson
Plans for a new state-of-the art Senior Center to meet the needs of 21st Century adults have been in the works by BG Town Board for several years. A grant to move ahead on it was received in the form of a CBDG (Community Block Development Grant) for $340,000. However, the parts for the building, which is a modular design, were not able to be made during 2020 because of the pandemic. Parts are now back in production, and the Town plans to move as quickly as possible, especially since the grant requires that it be completed this year. The building, which will be at the left after the entrance to Lasser Park, is quite large at 6,100 square feet and is intended as very multi-use. It includes a large community room that can be used both for exercise groups and community events, a large kitchen for meal prep, and several classrooms for all kinds of learning opportunities, men and women’s bathrooms with shower, a staff bathroom, a dining room and 3 offices. The building has extra wide aisles and 3 entrances/exits that are fully ADA compliant.
Icing on the cake is that when fully functional the building will save the town approximately $4,000/month ($48,000/year) rental that they currently pay for space at Fulton Square. And the senior community will be right in the middle of all the other activities that the public enjoys at Lasser Park. Board members were delighted at the well-sized rooms, the ADA compliancy and the 3 separate entrances/exits that allow for good access during any potential emergency. Councilwoman Sonia Ayala said she is eager to see an actual rendering of what the building will look like so she can share it with the public.
Supervisor Rob Jeroloman said there may be additional funding for the building in the future since it has the potential to provide emergency quarters during any potential crisis, and it fills his preference for community activities to be able to congregate in the same area. Besides the many sports events already held there, the land has a beautiful view and additional unused acres.
In Other News: On Wednesday the applicant for Craigville Warehouse LLC appeared again in a Zoom Session with the Town Board and both parties’ professionals. The applicant is eager to have the board decide on whether the town or the planning board will be the Lead Agency for the project, and whether it will be determined to be a significant environmental impact, which requires many additional studies to be done. Thirdly, there still remains the question of required parking spaces. The Town’s code for parking at warehouse property is not suitable for this project, as it was written about 10 years ago and calls for an excessive number of spaces (2,000). The applicant feels that they will only need about 250-350 (possibly with some spaces banked). Planning board regulations only allow the number to be decreased by about 50% under current code, so the most efficient way to fix the issue is to amend the code. Town Board members all agreed that the most likely outcome is that they will be comfortable having the Planning Board take the lead on this project. However, they would like to see the 3 issues addressed with a little more specificity first, and have Town Planner, Bonnie Franson have time to take another look at that, as well as drainage issues, the septic plan, and a lot line change. They expect that a decision on Lead Agency and Environmental Impact can be made and a resolution ready for next month’s meeting.