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Senecas move forward with Falls gas station plan

Seneca Nation plans for an upscale gas station/convenience store with 20 to 24 pumps at 621 Niagara St. appear to be moving forward.

“There’s a tremendous need for gas,” said Sean Caffery, chief executive officer of the development agency for the Seneca Nation. “There was major demand by our clientele as well as the people coming into the area.”

Caffery said gas would be tax-free, like other Seneca gas stations, but they would offer gas at “market rate” to keep the price fair with existing gas stations.

The Seneca Resorts website asked for bid proposals for a gas station in January and also advertised for employees.

The state had made it clear in 2012 that a gas station was not in keeping with the Gaming Compact between the state and the Seneca Nation, Mayor Paul Dyster told The Buffalo News. That station would place local businesses at a “competitive disadvantage,” he said.

Caffery said the federal government approves Seneca Nation territories and the state puts no restrictions on the land.

Assemblyman John Ceretto said he thought this dispute could be resolved.

“The Senecas have been good neighbors and want to be a stronger part of the community,” Ceretto said.

“If there are negatives and it is found to be a detriment to the community, I’m sure the Senecas would work with us.”