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COUNTY KICKS OFF REDEVELOPMENT PLAN

Erie County is launching a $700,000 redevelopment plan in Lackawanna to open 20 acres of former steel plant parking lot and industrial land for new business and industry.

Announced Wednesday as an installment on a total county investment of $2 million, the project is aimed at turning 378 acres of brownfields in the First Ward into new industrial and business sites.

"We are putting our money where our mouth is," County Executive Joel A. Giambra told a small crowd of officials outside the old Amadori Construction lot. "We see this some day in the near future as being a productive piece of land."

The officials held the news conference around a large mud puddle, created by long-gone trucks, on a road -- called "A Street" -- that currently lacks even a street sign.

Lackawanna officials said the gravel road will be re-created and extended south of Dona Street and another new road will be created north of Dona, between Wilmuth Street and Route 5.

Giambra referred to Mayor John J. Kuryak as "my partner" and introduced County Legislator Edward Kuwik as a lawmaker who makes sure funds go to his district.

"Economic development is key in this community," said Kuwik. "We're headed in the right direction."

The area is within the Lackawanna Empire Zone, a location offering a range of tax breaks and incentives to business. So far, Lackawanna has matched $25,000 from the county to clean up the land, and the state has invested $154,000.

The plan presented to the Lackawanna Planning Board earlier this month calls for creation of a new street, tentatively labeled "Albright Court," west of existing boat and metal businesses and east of Route 5. It will extend from Dona Street, 480 feet north to what is now a paper street, Swan Street.

e-mail: mhammersley@buffnews.com

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