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The Village of North Collins, without a supermarket for two years, should have a mini-market by next fall.

Mayor Mark A. Rivers said negotiations are under way for a Wilson Farms store on Main Street at Orchard Place. He credited Town Councilman Richard Taczkowski with arranging a village officials' meeting with Thomas M. Willett, a real estate representative of Tops Markets, owner of the Wilson Farms chain.

"Anything that will improve our tax base, provide a service, stimulate competition and create jobs has to be viewed favorably," Rivers said.

The proposed 2,898-square-foot store would sell 2,000 items, including produce, and have a gasoline island.

Rivers said plans call for a manager, three or four full-time employees and as many as 15 part-time workers.

The next step is for Tops officials to provide the village building inspector with preliminary plans that he can present to the Village Board.

But the announcement was not universally hailed. It drew strong criticism from Town Clerk Margaret Orrange.

"The Wilson Farms store will put Michelle Figel's convenience store located directly across the street out of business," Mrs. Orrange said. "Michelle, a widow, put everything she had into her store that she has operated for 11 years."

"I think that village and town officials should work to help existing local businesses. The Town of North Collins has 43 square miles. Why did they have to locate a store right across the street from an existing similar business?"

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