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DEVELOPER TO CONSIDER ALTERNATIVE SITE

The developer who wants to build a sports complex in West Seneca told the Town Board Monday he would consider an alternative site for the project.

Sam Savarino, of Buffalo Niagara Sports LLC, said his group examined other sites, including the old Seneca Mall property, after concerns were raised about the project being located at a site on Clinton Street.

Savarino said the new location could work for the project and asked the board for assistance in obtaining the site.

He said a memorandum of agreement would be sent to the town by the end of the week for the project, which has not yet been officially proposed to the town.

Town Supervisor Paul Clark assured residents that the project is in a very preliminary stage. "It is no way binds the town to anything," he said.

While Clark said the town is on a "good responsible path" regarding the proposal, "We're not even at the starting line yet." He said no decision would be made until the town sees a concrete financial proposal for the project.

"It's going to have to meet a lot of criteria," he said. "West Seneca is not in the business of guaranteeing sports complexes."

The original plan for the $40 million project, which would include a 5,000-seat arena, an enclosed golf driving range and four ice hockey rinks, was to locate it on 58 acres on Clinton Street between Harlem and Union roads owned by Mecca Farms.

This met with some resistance from area residents, as well as a local citizens group, the Concerned Citizens for Responsible Growth, and the Friends of the Buffalo Niagara Rivers environmental group.

Both groups Monday night commended the board and the developer for working with the residents.

Clark earlier this year filed an environmental assessment form stating the town is a sponsor of the project.

In other business, the board approved a three-year contract with its police force. The agreement includes wage increases of 2.75 percent over the first year, which began in January, and 3 percent per year for the next two years of the contract.

The agreement also includes a reduction in health insurance costs to the town that Clark said could potentially save the town $80,000 to $130,000 per year.

e-mail: hjones@buffnews.com

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