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KLOCH SAYS LAWMAKERS MUST CHANGE AGREEMENT

State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. Friday decided it wasn't his role to quash an agreement that made Greater Niagara Sports Group operator of Hyde Park Golf Course.

Kloch denied the request of "Save Hyde Park," a residential group, to renew its lawsuit against the agreement that was approved last June by the Niagara Falls Common Council.

In court Friday, Edward Perlman, attorney for Save Hyde Park, pointed to a recent resolution by four members of the Council that called for the agreement to be voided.

"I don't think it's a great agreement, but what am I supposed to do about that? I can't make (the city) enter into a good agreement," Kloch said. "I wouldn't have voted for this. But I'm not fortunate enough to be on the Council."

The agreement gives Greater Niagara Sports Group control of the former golf dome, outdoor putting range and both nine-hole courses in exchange for improvements and a developer's fee of at least $50,000.

City resident Frank Scaletta, who brought the lawsuit, said he believes the arrangement should have been subject to a bidding procedure.

City administrators, however, argued that it was a special circumstance -- the impending foreclosure of the golf dome.

Kloch in December ruled against the part of the agreement that would have allowed the developer to build a hotel on parkland.

Kloch said the hotel plan would require further oversight and government approval.

"There's no way with that many hurdles any right-thinking person would say this is the (main component) of the agreement," Kloch said. "That flies in the face of reason."

I February, the City Council members voted 4-1 to ask a judge to void the agreement.

Mayor Vince V. Anello never supported the resolution.

And Corporation Counsel Ronald D. Anton said it is the Council's job to vote on agreements -- not amend or change them.

The developer plans to upgrade the White Nine course and dome, and will assume control over the Red Nine on Jan. 1 if it meets the requirements of the agreement, including investing $700,000 into the clubhouse by 2007.

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