Weekly Feature

2017-03-16 / Front Page

Burchfield repairs not in 2017 budget

Board awaits official report before determining best course of action

Almost two months have passed since the Burchfield Nature and Art Center building was closed and all organizations within the facility were relocated.

As of Monday, no report has been submitted to the West Seneca Town Board regarding the findings of the forensic architect.

Town Attorney John Fenz said he met with the architect recently for an update.

“His initial findings were along the lines of the building’s not in condemnation territory but it does have significant issues,” Fenz said.

Now, he and the board are awaiting an official report before opening the discussion to the public for possible solutions.

“As part of his final report, he’s going to recommend the most cost-effective measures for remediation. It’s going to have a couple sides to that — one for all issues and one for immediate issues,” Fenz said.

The attorney said he is working with the town’s insurance company to determine coverage levels.

“But, as I’ve said to the board in the past, I wouldn’t bank on any secondary payers at this time,” he added.

An invoice has been received from the architect, which Fenz said means he is gearing up to create the report.

In the meantime, the Burchfield volunteers have been relocated to the West Seneca Senior Citizens Center on Seneca Street, and all other organizations and activities are finding temporary homes around town.

With the Metz House nearly operational, Supervisor Sheila Meegan said conversations are being had as to what activities can be moved into the new town space.

Summer concerts and outdoor children’s activities are still going to be held at the Burchfield park this year, Meegan said.

“The last thing we want to see is the end to that building, so we’re doing everything in our power,” the supervisor said.

Meegan said hopefully the report will be in the board’s hands in 60 to 90 days, and from there the town can outline a plan of action. Regardless of the report timeline, she said there is no likely action to be taken this year.

“This budget does not support any repairs in 2017. That’s something that needs to be recognized,” Meegan said.

“In my conversation with the forensic architect, I sat with him for two-and-a-half hours going through pictures that looked like a flipbook,” Fenz said. “There’s a big decision to make.”

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