BATAVIA – City lawmakers, having received concerns from residents about the possible use of Centennial Park as a location for disc golf, told residents at tonight’s meeting that council has no plans to go. forward with the idea.
City council chairman Eugene Jankowski Jr. said the last known councilor Phillip Boyd of Batavia, who proposed to use a city park as a disc golf site, came to a meeting with more information and was asked to hand them over to city manager Rachael Tabelski so she could inquire.
âBy design, that’s what we do for all requests, all projects. They go through the city hall verification process, which starts with the city manager and usually involves the police, fire department, public works – everyone – to make sure it suits the city well, âhe said. -he declares. “It’s spread over several meetings, so there are a lot of opportunities for the audience to weigh in, to comment and nothing is by surprise, nothing is hit, nothing is done without the support and the contribution of the public. “
In this case, Jankowski noted, there were several concerns.
âThe reason I put this here was for the board to speak out. I would like to remove Centennial Park from the list for this. I just don’t think it’s even a partial adjustmentâ¦ âhe said. He asked city council to order Tabelski to immediately remove Centennial Park from consideration.
Tabelski said of Boyd: âThe gentleman who was interested in making a plan for disc golf understands perfectly and doesn’t want to sue Centennial Park either. There may or may not be an adjustment in another park …. We haven’t even had a ministerial review of the proposed area yet.
A few residents have raised concerns about the use of Centennial Park for disc golf during the public comment period at tonight’s meeting.
Among the speakers was Carl DeLuca of Ellicott Avenue. He said his comments might be redundant since Council just took Centennial Park off the table.
âI still think you, as a city council, should know that the reason we’re all here is because we first got indications that Centennial Park was being used and so we kind of took the train. on straight away. I don’t know if this caused you all to decide whether Centennial Park is banned or not, âDeLuca said.
DeLuca noted that Centennial Park was created with the New York State School for the Blind in 1869.
âIt is free to be used by the public for a variety of outdoor activities. It is used by walkers, joggers, track and field and cross country teams, yoga, sledding, bird watchers, etc. It has been the iconic location for the annual July 4th picnic, 5km road races and concerts, even hosting the Buffalo Philharmonic. The proposed disc golf would occupy two-thirds of the 14-acre park in this community, limiting the activities that are now accessible to everyone, âhe said. âThose who now have the freedom to choose an activity would be limited to using only a third of the park’s area. The proposed installation of disc golf would be a permanent obstacle to freedom of use for the community at large.
Linda Daviou of Park Avenue said Park Avenue has been a wonderful place to live for over 40 years, raise her daughters and enjoy retirement.
âAlthough we don’t use the park so much ourselves anymore, we love to see it being enjoyed by a lot of others,â she said. âI really want to thank the city council for everything you do for Batavia. When I emailed all of you and the Town Manager, I really didn’t expect to hear so many from you. I was impressed. I received thoughtful responses from you that allayed my concerns that no one was listening. Keeping Centennial Park as a green space is important, and as evidenced by your many calm responses, you have heard us and you agree.
Judy Sikora of Park Avenue said she has lived in Batavia for 46 years since she left Buffalo to work as a librarian and library director at Genesee Community College for 36 years. She asked those at the meeting to support Centennial Park to stand up. Several people in both seating sections stood up.
Sikora said residents had drafted a petition, which she wanted to record in the meeting minutes. The petition had around 150 signatures.
âWe slowed down once we felt like you took it off the table,â she said. Sikora called on lawmakers, for the future, to keep Centennial Park free for all.
âThe other thing is to keep the park safe,â she said. âI am a daily user of the park. It is the only park we have in the city that retains its natural quality. I think you all know what I mean. It’s just grass and trees and a beautiful hilly terrain. It is very simple. Centennial Park has been a lifeline for many of us, especially many of us here tonight during COVID. It really is a treasure. This park, I think many cities would envy Centennial Park. “
Sikora said she also wanted to thank the staff who maintain the parks.
âThey do an amazing job, so if anyone could pass on my thanks to them, I would appreciate it,â she said.