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BOARD APPROVES 4-WAY ADVERTISING DEAL WORTH $2.7 MILLION

A four-way advertising partnership that will bring more than $2.7 million to Town of Tonawanda coffers during the next 15 years was unanimously approved Friday by town officials, who said the deal should please all residents -- golfers and non-golfers alike.

The deal includes advertising at 16 town-owned sites -- mostly recreation venues, and will see the sale of naming rights to the town's new golf dome in Brighton Park.

"Those who like to play golf will benefit from the dome," said Supervisor Carl J. Calabrese. "And those who don't know the difference between a putter and a pitching wedge will benefit from the town's gaining a new, non-property tax revenue stream."

Calabrese called the deal a "milestone agreement between local government and the private sector."

The four-way partnership between the town, HSBC bank, Pepsi-Cola, and TransAd Outdoor Media will bring the town an average income of $181,000 per year for 15 years, town officials said.

In return for payments totaling $1,115,000 over the 15-year span, Pepsi will get exclusive "pouring rights" at the 16 town sites -- including the new golf dome, town pools, park maintenance buildings, and the Aquatic and Fitness Center.

TransAd Outdoor Media, an East Aurora firm, will pay the town $1.1 million over 15 years in return for the right to sell naming rights to the golf dome to the highest bidder, as well as for rights to erect two large billboards on town-owned property along the Youngmann Highway. TransAd also will gain sales rights to other advertising spaces in the town.

In return for an investment of $500,000, HSBC bank will get exclusive rights to install ATM machines in the 16 town sites, as well as some additional space for bank advertising.

At a brief public hearing before the Town Board vote, Jeffrey Lawrence of the Ken-Ton Concerned Taxpayers Association and Donald Chapman of the Sweet Home School District's taxpayer group spoke in support of the deal.

"We believe the (golf dome) project can become a success for the town," Lawrence said. "The advertising revenue, plus the revenues from users, will enable the town to run a fiscally sound operation for years to come."

The deal also was backed by Robert Dimmig of the Town of Tonawanda Development Corporation and Richard Ellis of the Ken-Ton Chamber of Commerce.

"The dome will bring people from around the region who will spend their money at our businesses," said Ellis. "Tastefully done, the advertising messages will be clear, concise, targeted -- and profitable."

Also at the hearing, representatives of two local outdoor advertising firms that did not get selected by the town for participation in the deal went on record as opposed to the contracts.

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