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Advantages and liabilities of developing brownfield sites were discussed Monday at a meeting of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency.

David Flynn, an environmental attorney with Phillips, Lytle, Hitchcock, Blaine & Huber of Buffalo, discussed brownfields with the IDA at its meeting at the Jamestown Community College North Center on Route 60.

"These are usually large industrial areas, with industrial gas service, high power lines, possibly with rail lines and near roads," he said. The areas can also be part of the Empire Development Zones, which would include tax breaks, credit for employment and other incentives.

The county has received two grants totaling $350,000 for brownfield remediation. The Marsh Valve Co. site on Brigham Road and the Roblin site on South Roberts Road will both be cleaned up.

Board members were concerned about agency liability for cleaning up brownfield sites.

Flynn said agreements can be reached with the state and federal governments prior to development of a site. He pointed to the Dowcraft site in Falconer. The voluntary program was used to clean up the site, and a new company went into it. The Environmental Protection Agency had spent $400,000 to clean up the site.

In other action, the board approved negotiating a lease for space at the Manufacturers Technical Center in Jamestown for the relocation of the agency and Chautauqua County Department of Development offices from 200 Harrison St. The building is owned by the college.

Administrative Director Richard Alexander said the agency "has made substantial progress" in trying to work with a purchaser for the vacant Empire Special Steel Corp. plant.

Also, the board approved receiving property at 26 Main St. in Silver Creek and the Red Coach Inn in Lakewood, both county tax foreclosures, Chairman Frank Pagano said. The agency will attempt to market them.

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