The local Town of Sweden government had a busy spring season in terms of development and project initiatives. Whether it was upgrades and renovations at the Sweden Town Park or the numerous initiatives relating to public water access and traffic safety, they say that they follow their mission regardless of how many different projects that may involve.
This goal, as Town of Sweden Supervisor Kevin Johnson says, is “to make our community a place where people can live, can work, [and] can recreate.” In an exclusive interview with 89.1 The Point, Supervisor Johnson spoke about many of the initiatives currently underway in Sweden.
He stressed that all of the projects are very important in their own unique ways. That being said, he added that keeping people safe in Sweden was a high priority. One of the recent movements is to install a traffic light at Rt. 31 and Sherry Lane. In a letter to the Regional Director of New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) Kevin Bush, Supervisor Johnson urges the DOT to partner with Sweden to install the traffic light regardless of what any DOT studies may find. The last time the town requested this study was 2009, which was deemed “not warranted” by the DOT.
Supervisor Johnson writes, “Another ‘not warranted’ determination in response to this request would only frustrate and disappoint the residents of the Town of Sweden. By today’s standards, no development the size of Sweden Village (about 440 homes) would be approved without a lighted intersection at this location.” The Supervisor shared this letter May 31, 2018 on his official Town of Sweden Supervisor Facebook page after sending it to the DOT.
He also said that upon submitting the letter he turned in 48 letters of support from Sweden Village Residents. Other related safety initiatives are installing a sidewalk the full length of Owens Rd. west from Rt. 31 to Rt. 19 and then west on State St. into the village.
Other developments recently include several upgrades to the Sweden Town Park on Redman Rd. These include the grand opening of the new park lodge, which Supervisor Johnson says has been in popular demand to book so far. Also, the new bathrooms at the park are making it much easier for many baseball families to enjoy the park.
There’s no shortage of new recreation projects at the park, including two new upcoming developments. The first is a handicap-inclusive playground coming this fall. The second is in works still; Sweden is hoping to install a splash pad, or water play area, next summer. They were able to raise about $80,000 with an anonymous donor matching with another $80,000. The town is looking to come up with donations to finish funding the project.
The town is also looking to expand public water access. On July 11, 2018 Supervisor Johnson posted about the matter to update the community. He writes, “We have just cleared two major hurdles to obtaining funding assistance from the state and federal governments: we were able to remove the Village population count from our total population in order to qualify as a rural community; and we had the results of a median household income study certified by the USDA.”
There will be a public informational meeting regarding public water access on August 7, 2018 at 7 P.M. at Sweden Town Hall.
These projects are mere highlights of the work the Town of Sweden government does on a daily basis. To stay up to date online on projects, public forums and meetings and everything happening in Sweden, follow “Town of Sweden Supervisor” on Facebook to see Supervisor Johnson’s posts. The town website is www.townofsweden.org, which lists contact information for public officials, town news and more.
Point of Interest is an ongoing series highlighting organizations, individuals, and initiatives that are positively impacting the Western New York community.
Audio package and web content produced by Amanda Berg
Town family interviews by Ben Vahey