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A ruling in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Friday cleared the way for a Hamburg company to permanently operate and make improvements on the South Shore Sports Dome.

Judge Carl L. Bucki gave American Golf Properties permission to be the permanent operator of the facility at Southwestern Boulevard and Camp Road. Bucki had granted temporary permission to the company last December.

"The judge's ruling also allows us to go ahead with work on a pro shop, a restaurant and a clubhouse," said Thomas E. Liptak, attorney for the firm. "Those improvements will cost about $200,000."

The chief principals in American Golf Properties are Hamburg businessman Thomas White; Mark Cerveny, a golf course operator from Westfield, Mass.; and the Buffalo law firm of Kenney, Kanaley, Shelton & Liptak, which includes Liptak as a partner.

Under an agreement with the Town of Hamburg, the dome will close April 1 for the warm weather season. It will be deflated each year and will reopen in October, Liptak said.

For several years, the dome and its adjacent golf course have been the subject of legal battles involving a series of bankruptcies.

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