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1,280 acres added to planned zone

At a special session Tuesday, Wyoming County supervisors approved adding 1,280 acres to a proposed Empire Zone, which still needs state approval.

About 200 properties could be eligible for tax reductions and economic incentives if the move is approved by the state commissioner of economic development. Wyoming and Livingston counties are among 12 counties still seeking an Empire zone, Wyoming officials said.

Assemblyman Daniel Burling, R-Warsaw, told Wyoming supervisors recently that he has been lobbying in Albany for zones in both counties.

Supervisors from 13 Wyoming towns voted for the expansion at Tuesday's meeting. Supervisors Jean Totsline of Genesee Falls, Kyle Glosser of Orangeville and Hank Bush of Gainesville were absent.

The properties to be added to the zone are in the towns of Arcade, Attica, Castile, Perry, Gainesville and Warsaw.

Properties to be designated as part of the zone include the former Westinghouse building in Attica, the Warsaw Industrial Park and the Warsaw Shopping Center.

"Empire Zones are something dear to my point of view and the (Warsaw) Village Board," Warsaw Mayor Dan Moran said. "It is very important."

Not having an Empire Zone, he said, puts Wyoming at a distinct disadvantage compared with other counties.

Three supervisors also spoke in favor of the zone.

"I think we need to support an Empire Zone as we need to have a fair footing with other counties," Perry Supervisor Anne Humphrey said.

Other supervisors expressed concern that the state might not act quickly to approve an Empire Zone.

"One of the gross injustices bestowed on Wyoming County and other counties is we do not have one," said Doug Berwanger, chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

The supervisors also established a six-person board to oversee the Empire Zone if it wins state approval. Members will require approval by the Board of Supervisors.

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