The below questions were submitted by our residents. We have provided an answer for each question in an effort to provide additional information on the proposed Community Center Complex. Use the link provided to submit your question!
Q: The concept plan indicated two ‘fitness’ rooms on the upper level; a previous question about these areas was given a response there would be “no fitness equipment”, why no fitness equipment (treadmill, etc.) provided? To what end will there be ‘fitness’ in these two areas?
A: We do not want or intend to compete with local fitness centers. There is also a liability concern where fitness equipment is involved. The two areas in the concept are to provide low impact type activities, like Aerobics and Zumba.
Q: What will the increase in taxes be?
A: Depends on your homes assessed value. A home assessed at $170K would be aprox. $19 per year.
Q: If the vote proposition contains a maximum use of Town reserves of $1,506,000 why are the other two $3,000,000 use of reserve funds versions listed in the financing options section?
A: The “not to exceed” applies to the “Bond” amount of $20 million only. The Town can opt to use additional reserves, which is why the additional $1.5 million is shown in the finance options.
Q: Could you add the poster from the town meetings that included the proposed timeline to the project documents? The one that listed tentative dates of the various stages of completion all the way through the ribbon cutting.
A: Will do.
Q: The Chili Library is still fairly new, why build a new one?
A: It’s not as much that we need a new library. The Move is only driven by the desire to move the Court to the space currently used by the Library. This removes the Court proceedings away from community events, senior programs and recreation. We believe that separating the “community activities” and “business activities” is in the best interest of our residents. The move also allows us to consider selling the building that houses the court and senior center, using those proceeds to buy down the debt of the new facility.
Q: Is it possible to have a space allocated for the dog obedience classes? The classes would, most likely, always be a popular activity among residents for the years to come.
A: Yes. There are several multi purpose rooms that can be used.
Q: Were residents surveyed about what they want in a community center? If so, is a survey summary available? If not, would you consider surveying residents?
A: No they were not surveyed during the concept phase. We are considering providing such a survey if the referendum passes. Community input will be important to providing the amenities the community desires.
Q: While the project is interesting, the precise siting is questionable. It is buried far off the access road behind a number of town parks and sports fields. Asking our Seniors, one of the prime target groups for the facility, to navigate the meandering access drive that weaves through park and sports field areas is, too say the least, highly imprudent. There will frequently be pedestrian children on the drives in those parks and sports fields; it is a bad mix of children and drivers, especially elderly drivers.
The town ownership of that parcel of land continues further east, straight to Archer Road. Why not situate this new Community Center Complex at the Archer Road end, much closer to the road? Besides greatly reducing vehicle traffic through the parks, the Center itself would have much better visibility and ease of access. Entry via Archer would also avoid extra burden being added to the troublesome intersections at each end of Old Scottsville-Chili Road.
A: When we began the study the Town did not own the Archer Rd. property. All of the siting considerations were made with property we owned at the time. Could we now consider the Archer site? Quite honestly, we don’t know. It would require a considerable delay and all of the environmental work would need to be redone. Additionally, we would likely need to go back and redo the bond resolution and referendum as the bond resolution is specific to the current siting. Siting was indeed a challenge. Wetlands, Drainage, Topography and a variety of challenges presented themselves during the process. While the concept plans do not depict any other options for traffic flow, it does not mean other options are not available. If passed, we will be able to look more closely to the possibilities of other means of access.
Q: How many people participate in Chili rec/senior center/library programs? How many more do you project this facility could accommodate?
A: Recreation – During 2017, Chili Recreation offered 25 new recreational opportunities to the residents of Chili, bringing the total number of programs offered to 290. Of these new programs, 17 were for adults, such as Essential Oils classes, Community CPR and Writing classes. The total number of participants also increased this year by approximately 200 people, to nearly 4700 participants (this does not include special event participants).
Senior Center – As of October 16, 2017, nearly 638 programs have been offered to our seniors, 14 more than last year. Our NYS roster stands at 1587 registered members.
Library – The Library reports that in 2017 circulated 248,416 items in all formats, welcomed 146,137 patrons through its doors, answered 11,355 reference questions, and held 613 programs for 15,244 children, teens, and adults.
Q: How did you decide on this specific proposition? (Ie: How did you decide to include two basketball courts instead of 1 or 3?) How did you measure the needs of the community?
A: The specific needs relative to size were determined during our 1½ year study of programs, participants and our ability to accommodate special events. The Library, Recreation and Senior Center were involved in the decision making.
Q: Have you visited neighboring towns’ community centers or talked to their community leaders and residents to get their feedback? What worked for them/ what they would have done differently/ etc?
A: Yes. During on concept planning stage we visited several, had multiple discussions with the leadership, managers and users.
Q: Please consider a drive-thru library book/materials drop off option.
A: This has been considered and will be part of any plans.
Q: Don’t we still owe money on the new highway department? If so, when should that be paid off?
A: No, we paid that off in 2016.
Q: “Why- to meet the growing demands of our community.” I want to reinerate, because data is important, as a previous person asked: what data do you have to show A. What the current demands of the community are. B. How you anticipate the growth.
A: As mentioned previously, we have not kept specific “data”. We do know that we turn people away from programs, both from recreation and senior activities due to space restrictions. It is not so much to support current growth as it is to provide for todays needs.
Q: How many people participate in Chili rec/senior center/library programs? How many more do you project this facility could accommodate?
A: We do have this data and I will post in the next day or so.
Q: Will Chili Rec programs have the capacity to be held here (Halloween, Easter egg hunt, summer festivals, etc?). Do you anticipate a shift for parade routes to tie in the community center?
A: Yes, we do plan to have all of our events held on site. There will likely be a shift in parade routes, but as yet not determined. We do plan on keeping Chil-E fest on Chili Ave.
Q: Is a stage (perhaps in the multipurpose room) or auditorium of sorts a possibility/consideration?
A: We hadn’t considered a stage, but certainly can add it to our list of possibilities when we get to final design.
Q: What are you thinking the hours will be for the community center?
A: We have discussed that and likely something in the area of 8am – 9pm, though nothing has been finalized on the hours.
Q: #1 In the question immediately posted below, the questioner asked was why there wasn’t a town-wide meeting (with open discussion) scheduled after the “open house” meetings had been concluded. I agree with them! Your answer was weak. The open house meetings are fine in preparation for the formal meeting, but they don’t do away with the need for one. If you folks are getting burned out on meetings, I don’t blame you, but you could have had 4 open houses (instead of 6) and added 1 formal meeting. You are looking to borrow $20 million after all.
A: It’s not a matter of meeting burn out as much as it is trying to allow as many people access to the information.
Q: #2 In followup to another question below where someone asked if the costs to renovate the existing library into court were included: You said “We would use building reserves to fund that renovation.”
So how much is THAT renovation expected to cost? Why not state that? Even though that money does not need to be *borrowed*, it’s still real taxpayer money and it’s clearly part of the overall project. Spending it to do a complete remodeling of a perfectly good library (that doesn’t need renovation) into a town court means those funds are not available for other uses.
A: We opted not to invest in obtaining cost estimates for the Court to move prior to knowing if we need to make that investment. If the bond vote fails, we obviously won’t be moving the Court making any investment in engineering the move a waste of money.
Q: Will the multipurpose rooms be available to local organizations to use for meeting spaces either for free or for a fee? Will the “fitness” spaces include exercise equipment? What are the proposed hours of operation for the facility?
A: Yes, the multipurpose rooms can be made available to local organizations. No we will not be installing exercise equipment. The hours will likely be 8am – 9pm.
Q: I appreciate that there have been a number of open informational sessions wherein one-on-one conversation with town officials and hired consultants was possible. That was quite helpful. At the end of that though, prior to any bond resolution, there absolutely needs to be a single sit-down town-wide meeting. This should be a formal presentation with a opportunity for people in the community to openly ask questions and hear unfiltered answers. A town meeting means it all happens live and everyone interested hears both sides of every question/answer. That doesn’t occur in your “small groups” informational sessions.
A: While most here are questions and answers, we felt it important enough to address this comment. Your point is well taken, however in the past we have found that attendance is poor at best when a single public meeting is held, as you suggest. For a number of reasons many people cannot attend who may want to attend. For this reason, we decided to have several “open house” type meetings at different times of the day to include everyone as best we can.
Q: I understand that this Q&A page on the town website affords some ability to ask questions. The questions are edited and screened, though—not everything gets published or answered, and any query too uncomfortable can be dodged without anyone (except the asker) the wiser.
A: Questions are copied verbatim, all questions are posted, none excluded regardless of our comfort level of the question.
Q: Additionally, by the very nature, the audience here is extremely limited with more than a little inherent selection bias. Many Seniors, for example, are not comfortable with the “social media approach” of running town discussions online. They are also a primary group to be served by the new site who might have some salient ideas about its design and location. Seniors may also, because of fixed incomes, be a group that is especially concerned with the debt and tax implications.
A: Understanding that the Senior population may have some concerns and not able to attend some of the meetings, they had asked the Supervisor to visit them on a few of their busier days at the Senior Center to ask questions. That has happened and can happen again if requested.
Q: If you are asking people in the town to borrow nearly $20 million, there really needs to be a town-wide meeting with formal presentation and open live discussion. It is frankly essential.
A: Thank you for your comments and suggestions.
Q: So just when was the public (taxpayers) invited to comment on or suggest what they think should be included. Will it be similar to the Henrietta Recreation Center with walking track upstairs and the 1st floor multipurpose such toddler gym, a year long preschool on site? Will non-residents be able to use if they pay a fee for a year’s unlimited use. Are there going to be lockers and showers available to all? Will there be an elevator for those who use walkers or canes so they can use the track on 2nd floor? How many parking spots will be marked handicapped? Will a traffic device be installed to ease congestion? As for the ‘Project Introduction’ seminar — it was a waste of time. Why not have a power point presentation with what was displayed on the easels with a verbal explanation from town officials and others involved in the process followed by at least a 30 min Q&A? Not everyone has a computer at home; if there was a mailing or survey, did all taxpayers get a chance to respond. It doesn’t seem to be centrally located within town boundaries.
A: There are 6 public meetings scheduled, 4 of which have taken place. The next meeting will be held at the Community Center in North Chili (4400 Buffalo Rd.) on May 23rd from noon to 3pm and again from 5pm to 8pm. Public input is welcome and encouraged. The floor plans are available on this web site, but yes — there will be a walking track. Use of the facility will be first for Chili residents and Town programs with no fees planned. Nonresidents may be allowed use of the track during normal operating hours. Lockers and showers are part of the current plan. There will be an elevator and handicapped parking. No traffic light is being proposed. The location is almost dead center of town.
Q: How is the library area actually allotted to books changing?
A: The library will determine what goes in what spaces and how much of any one thing. They are adding significant space to provide more book space if necessary.
Q: Do the financing amounts include the cost of renovating the current library into a new Town Court or would that need to be a separate issue?
A: No. We will use building reserves to fund that renovation.
Q: When did planning for this project begin? How was this particular site and time to act chosen? Who was involved in the planning for this project?
A: We began our conceptual planning around the middle of 2016. This site was selected through process of elimination with the property we currently own in the referred center of town. Along with out consultants, our planning committee consisted of Library, Senior Center, Recreation Staff, the Town Supervisor and Deputy Supervisor/Councilman. We selected this particular time due to most of all Town debt was to be paid by the end of this year, lessening the burden on taxes.
Q: Will the gym include indoor Pickleball courts?
A: At this time, these types of specific activities have not been fully vetted. Once we are able to get into the actual engineering of the facility, things like this will be discussed.
Q: In one of the questions it is noted the plan is to “sell the current Senior Center and use funds to buy down financing of the new facility”. What type of development does the Town envision for that site? Taking into consideration there are other properties for sale along Chili Avenue within Chili Center, I am concerned that we are over developing Chili Center. The addition of the Community Center plus additional “developments” could have significant impact on the traffic flow and walkability of Chili Center.
A: At present, we do not know what type of development might take place on the site if sold. Anything that would go there would be thoroughly vetted by our Planning Board and Building Department. Our Chili Center Master Plan has addressed some of the concerns you mention and our Planning Board has given very serious consideration to that Plan when development is proposed in the Chili Center area.
Q: The document entitled “Summary of Financing Options” listed under Project Documents notes the tax impact pursuant of the borrowing amount. What is not indicated is the additional costs of building such a facility. For example, will there be additional grounds and maintenance staff hired to maintain the building? Will additional Senior Center and Recreation Staff be hired to accommodate the envisioned new growth of programming? What are the energy costs of such a building? Insurance costs? With new employees comes salary, retirement, health insurance, etc. What are the projected costs beyond the building costs and what is the tax implication then?
A: At this time we anticipate one additional position (someone in the reception area). Given the age and inefficiencies of our current facilities, and today’s advances we don’t anticipate any major changes in energy costs. Minimal, if any changes to insurance costs. Grounds maintenance will again be a minimal change if any.
Q: The estimated renovation costs for the Senior Center are $1.65 million. The estimated renovation costs for the Buffalo Rd. Community Center is $1.32 million. That is a total of $2.97 million for renovations. The total borrowing cost for a new community center is $20 million. That is a significant price difference. The summary of financing does not indicate any state or federal funded grant income. Has the town explored grant funding to improve the state of the current Senior Center and current Community Center? Has the town considered grant opportunities to offset the $20 million burden of a new community center on tax payers?
A. We continually look for grant money to support any projects. We will be exploring at least one that we know will be open for applications in 2019. Should any other opportunities arise we will most certainly look to take advantage of them.
Q. The town has provided information on the design of a new community because of the “growing demand” of our community. What exactly is the demand? Besides project designs, I would like to see data proving the NEED of a new facility. Architectural drawings are nice and feel good but where is the proof?
A. While there is no specific document we can direct you to, we currently have to lease space from Roberts Wesleyan College, Gates-Chili HS & Churchville-Chili HS for program space. We find we have to turn people away (limit attendance) from many of our events due to limited space.
Q: Will this open the possibility of a before school care option for SAFE Churchville-Chili School District?
A: It’s too early to say what additional or new programs we may be able to support.
Q: Was there any discussion or can there still be any discussion regarding turf fields or a pool?
A: Both were discussed and neither have been selected as options for this project.
Q: This location seems so set back into the property and won’t be seen from the road. Would it be able to be located more into the center of the Memorial Park and place the baseball and soccer field where the Community Center is proposed? Also, will all the older Dept of Highway buildings be removed for a better entrance esthetic? Are those buildings still being used?
A: We studied a variety of locations in the park area, none proved to be suitable for this building. No decisions have been made on the use or demolition of our existing structures. We are currently using the buildings for storage, any future use will be evaluated during the design phase.
Q: Would it be possible to consider a pool or spray park into this design?
A: We already have a spray park located at the Union Station Park, so a second would not be feasible or practical. Pools become a long term maintenance/cost issue. We are not considering a pool.
Q: Is the architecture of the project design & floor plan fully conceptual? What time frame will designs be finalized and groundbreaking begin?
A: Yes they are conceptual at this time. If the bonding is approved, we anticipate groundbreaking around this time next year (2019).
Q: There are so many vacant buildings in Chili already. Is there concern that when trying to sell currently used buildings, they too will remain vacant?
A: No, we are not concerned. Both locations are prime commercial properties. Of the few vacant buildings we have now, with the exception of the former Walgreens, we don’t anticipate them being vacant for long.
Q: I see what you are doing, but I’m not sure why.
A: Our current facilities are outdated and in need of some very costly repairs and renovations, the cost which exceeds the value of the property. Our Community Center is too small to support the community desired programs and activities. Our Senior Center is so active we often have to turn folks away for programs. The new Center will give us the space needed to serve the demands of our growing community. Investing in a new Complex is a better investment than overspending to repair outdated facilities that, once done, will still not serve the demands of the community.
Q: Will residents have to pay to use the fitness/basketball courts/walking track?
A: No. However, any programs which currently require a fee will continue to require a fee.
Q: What will the cost be to residents to use the Community Center?
A: No cost for the use. However, reserving a space or time may require a minimal fee.
Q: Have any considerations been made to have the entrance off of Chili Avenue instead of Old Scottsville-Chili Road, or in addition to? A new community center will bring in significant traffic that entrance is already a busy walking area in the Spring and Summer with people walking to the playground and baseball fields. Also, the majority of community center traffic will be coming from Chili Avenue and traffic will become backed up to Chili Avenue with people attempting to turn left into that proposed entrance. The entrance to the park is already blocked at times currently with cars waiting to turn right or left onto Chili Avenue.
A: Final site plans have yet to be developed. We will look at every option for access. What you are seeing now is conceptual.
Q: Will a walking track be included?
Q: What happens to the gym floor when you have to put chairs on it?
A: Today’s gymnasium floors are made to withstand some pretty good abuse. Chairs and tables will not damage the floor.
Q: Can additional parking be added closer to the building, especially for seniors?
A: Yes. Once we get to the final planning stages those considerations will be critical.
Q: Can the new Complex be built closer to Old Chili-Scottsville Road?
A: No. During our two-year study of this project it was determined the currently proposed site is best for a facility of this size and nature.
Q: Can a canopy be added to the front for all people to be dropped off out of the elements?
A: We can take that under consideration during final design.
Q: Why do we need a new library? Isn’t the current facility fairly new?
A: It’s not that we ‘need’ a new Library. The intent is to sell the current Senior Center building, and use those funds to buy down the financing of the new facility. We would then move the Court to the current Library location.
Q: Don’t we still owe money on the Town Hall?
A: Yes. However, that will be paid off by the end of 2018.