Please use the navigation menu at bottom the Page       





                                                                                                                                                             St Mary of the Angels     Reist Mill     Historic Maps & Photos


History of Amherst State Park News Archives


Buffalo News,   July, 2005  / Fixit

      It was nice to see the Town of Amherst and the State of New York come together a few years ago to buy the former Sisters of St. Francis property on Mill Street and turn it into Amherst State Park.

       What's not so nice is watching those two governments haggle over replacing a concrete and brick pillar at one of the property's entrances. The pillar was knocked over during construction of a nearby senior housing complex.

       One resident of that complex, Mary Jane Edwards, wrote to complain that almost two years after this pillar was knocked down, it remains on the ground. An orange safety cone stands next to the pedestal on which the pillar once stood.

       "Every time you exit this driveway, you look at this mess in an otherwise beautiful place," she wrote. "Can Fix It either get some action on this, or get it removed?"

       We can certainly try, although, it looks like the state and the town are in a standoff as to how this problem should be addressed.

       Although the state owns the land, the Town of Amherst is responsible for maintaining the park.

       The town wants to rebuild the pillar -- but in a slightly different location because, at its old location, it would make the adjacent driveway too narrow for larger fire trucks, according to Rick Williams, senior fire inspector for the Williamsville Fire Department.

       Williams said that the state fire code mandates a 20-foot width for the driveway entrance. If the gate post is replaced in its original location, the entrance would be 12 feet wide.

       "Our contention is it was knocked over for a reason: A truck went around the corner and couldn't make the turn," he said. "That could possibly happen again."

       The state's position, as presented by parks spokesman Allen James, is that the pillar, which dates back many years, has historic significance.

       "The recommendation (we) made was that the column be replaced as it was to meet the historical character and fabric of its original context," James said.

       James said that a nearby driveway already provides the necessary clearance required by the fire code.

       Williamsville Fire Chief Jim Zymanek said that if fire hose has to be run up the other driveway with the wider entrance, water flow onto the site could be disrupted by heavy fire trucks driving over the hose.

       "I can understand if the column was in place, or moved a little bit," Zymanek said. "But the column has been knocked over. The historical significance has been destroyed."

       Both sides say there is room for compromise, but so far that hasn't been the case. We'll follow up on this within the next month to see if the two governments can come to an agreement.

       Fix It focuses attention on small-picture problems our readers encounter in their everyday environment. Possible contributions can be made by leaving a message on the Fix It voice mail line (849-6026), by e-mailing, or by writing to Fix It c/o The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, Buffalo, NY 14240.

       Charles Lewis/Buffalo News

     This fallen brick gate post at the end of St. Mary's Apartments on Mill Street in Amherst has gone unrepaired for the past two years.

Back to History News Archives pagehnews.html