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SOCCER CLUB BACKS PROPOSAL, ATTORNEY CLAIMS

The attorney representing Martin Road neighbors who oppose a planned soccer complex said Wednesday he has proof that the Jamestown Area Youth Soccer organization has been behind the proposal all along and it would not be primarily a school district facility.

Arthur Giacalone filed an amended petition in State Supreme Court after uncovering documents he says show JAYS was an integral part of the process from the outset.

In a Freedom of Information Law filing, Giacalone discovered it was JAYS that got the initial option to buy the land.

"It is clear to us that there was a combined effort for the school district and the JAYS to work together to have a facility that would be usable mainly by the JAYS," he said.

One memo from Jamestown School District Business Manager Dale Weatherlow to attorney Gregory Peterson said, "You had asked me this morning if we had any resolutions or information that would help assure the JAYS that the land purchased near Jefferson School will be used for soccer."

Peterson is the attorney who closed the 60-acre land sale for the school district.

Giacalone is seeking permission to depose 10 people, including Weatherlow, Peterson, JAYS President Jeffrey Kroon, school Athletic Director Wally Huckno, School Board member James McElrath and property owner Norman Nelson.

During a Feb. 8 court appearance, Giacalone will argue against a change of venue motion by the attorney for the state Education Department. The motion proposes moving the case to State Supreme Court in Albany County from Chautauqua County.

"The only reason for moving this trial to Albany would be to create a financial hardship for my clients," Giacalone said.

The soccer complex is part of a $54 million capital project approved by school district voters last August.

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