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'Oz' details to be aired

WHEATFIELD -- Details of the proposed "Wizard of Oz" theme park project will be discussed at a public meeting Dec. 22, Supervisor Timothy E. Demler said last week.

Demler said developers of the proposed $750 million project told him a public scoping session would be held before the end of December to provide details, such as the site plan.

Although there have been several public meetings regarding the park, a site plan or detailed map was never made available. Very few specifics have been documented about a project that is supposed to encompass about 800 acres, off River Road, near Williams Road. Most of the meetings have drawn questions from residents regarding traffic, noise, drainage and financing.

Still, tentative zoning changes to make way for the project have been approved by the Town Board, whose members also have called for an environmental impact study.

Demler said the developer has hired an engineering firm to do the study, as well as the Rochester law firm of Harris Beach.

"I think you're going to see a certain amount of site work by summer," he said.

Oz Central, a limited liability corporation, is the developer and holds licensing rights for the Oz name from the family of L. Frank Baum, author of the popular "Oz" series of children's books.

The supervisor said that although the company is expected to be granted government financial incentives, there will be no government funding for the project. One item still in the discussion stage is the extension of the LaSalle Expressway, to allow an exit ramp into the park property. Also in question is the funding source for the extension.

The meeting should be advertised this week. No time has been set, but it is expected to be held in the Wheatfield Community Center behind Town Hall.

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