East Aurora Advertiser

Town Approves Rugby Tournament at Knox Fields

The end of April will see a regional rugby tournament held at the soccer fields at Knox Farm State Park. 

At its Feb. 22 meeting, the Aurora Town Board approved a request for the Buffalo Rugby Club to host the Atlantic Super Regional Rugby Festival at Knox Farm State Park from April 30 to May 1. This will be along the park fields on Knox Road. The competition will feature teams for men and women over the two-day competition. 

After some discussion, the board agreed to the permit request. Highway Superintendent David Gunner said he and East Aurora Police Chief Shane Krieger spoke to the organizers and they felt it would be a good event for the area. Gunner said adjustments were made where the teams will play to better protect the fields. 

The decision to allow the use of the fields will not impact the Aurora Arsenal soccer club’s use of the fields. 

“Buffalo Rugby Club will be a fantastic local host for this event and Western New York is the perfect setting to welcome a premier rugby event,” Ken Pape, President of Empire GU Rugby said in a news release. “We encourage current and emerging fans of our sport to join us for what will be a great weekend of competition and camaraderie.”

Organizers with the Buffalo club said the event will “feature the top 24 men and women’s teams from New England GU, Eastern Penn GU, Capital GU and Empire GU. It is the first step towards the USA Rugby National Championship Series.”

The Buffalo Rugby Club competes nationally and has its home field at Delaware Park in Buffalo. According to the website for the organization, the club holds indoor practices at the Buffalo Bills field house in Orchard Park. They also hold youth clinics to expand interest in rugby throughout the region.

Bridge Update

In other town news, Gunner informed the Aurora Town Board that the culvert work for Church Street and East Fillmore Avenue will not take place until 2023. 

The town was awarded $1.6 million from New York State to replace both spans and improve the banks of Tannery Brook. The work would mimic what has already taken place at North Grove Street and Whaley Avenue. 

Gunner said the state is leading the process and it is planning to put everything out as one bid so that both culverts are replaced by the same firm. He said the state is also working on easements from property owners near the East Fillmore Avenue section. 

For the two prior bridge repairs on North Grove and Whaley, the town highway department did most of the work. For the next two bridges, the work will be handled by another company. 

He did say that some streambank clearing could take place along Church Street this year. The town received a grant through support from State Senator Patrick Gallivan’s office aimed at streambank work, and Gunner said his department is waiting on the money to be delivered to the town. 

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