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Lysander Town Board won’t challenge establishment of boys’ group home

The Lysander Town Board at its May 5 meeting picked up a tabled resolution from the week before regarding a proposed boys’ group home to be built on Doyle Road.

The board voted 4-1 against writing a letter to New York state representatives to reconsider the protocol of announcing the establishment of community group homes. Councilor Roman Diamond voted in favor.

Councilor Robert Geraci had originally proposed the action, but after researching the decades-old law, came to the conclusion it would only raise false hopes.

“The law has been in place close to 40 years,” he said. “It’s all about not discriminating. It’s all about basically saying we’ve got to take care of people in our communities. There isn’t latitude and leeway in terms of what a local community can do or not do with respect to these things. So I’m not sure a letter will do anything.”

Though Diamond also didn’t think a letter would be successful, he was still in favor of passing the resolution.

“I would like the state to know there needs to be more open dialogue within the board and the residents. I think the residents should have more of a say in regards to their community,” Diamond said.

Residents spoke out mainly in opposition to the board’s decision for reasons including the town’s original mishandling of project information and safety concerns. A couple people spoke out in support of the town and on behalf of the children who will be living at the home. Councilor Melinda Shimer, who is the liaison between the town and Toomey Residential and Community Services, said she recently spoke with its executive director Judith D’Amore. Plans for the home are still at the state level. D’Amore also told her that representatives would be communicating with the town codes department in the next few months. Any concerns and questions regarding the project can be addressed to Shimer by phone at 638-4264 or via email at mshimer1@verizon.net.

The board will next meet at 7 p.m. Monday, May 19 at Lysander Town Hall, 8220 Loop Road in Radisson. A work session will begin at 6:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

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