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Porter Board OKs $1 million to buy lakefront land

The Town Board on Tuesday voted to spend about $1 million to purchase approximately 38 acres of lakefront property.

The land, formerly known as Oxy-on-the-Lake, is currently owned by a subsidiary of global auto parts manufacturer Magna International.

Town officials said they are eyeing the Lake Road property just east of Dietz Road -- which has between 500 and 600 feet along Lake Ontario -- as parkland.

The town will pay an amount not to exceed $1.05 million for the land, which also includes one structure.

Porter owns no waterfront land, despite being bordered on the west by the Niagara River and the north by Lake Ontario, said Councilwoman Nancy J. Orsi.

"I do not want to see this golden opportunity pass us by, and I hope every citizen in the Town of Porter feels the same way I do," Orsi said.

In August, Magna officials announced that financial losses at Magna Entertainment Corp. have forced the company to abandon plans for the 800 acres of land it owns in Porter. Those plans included a racetrack, entertainment complex, family-oriented theme park and auto manufacturing plant.

The vote was 4-1, with Councilman Jeffrey P. Baker casting the lone opposing vote.

Baker said he was not against having a park, but he did not want to burden taxpayers with future costs.

Town officials will now move forward with a purchase contract through Magna's local attorney, Angelo Massaro of Niagara Falls.


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