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Approval of riverfront parcel purchase is likely

An environmental study of a five-acre parcel the town wants to use for a riverfront park found low levels of metals that are not significant enough to stop the development.

The Town Board met last week with representatives of CRA Infrastructure & Engineering to discuss the findings of a study ordered seven months ago. The meeting had to be held so the board could act before the purchase option on the property expired, town officials said.

The site is on River Road near Wildwood Drive, just west of Williams Road.

Town Attorney Robert O'Toole recommended the board approve the $160,000 purchase from the estate of Henry Adamczyk, with plans to build a park along the Niagara River that might include boat docks. The agreement is contingent on O'Toole's review of the study and contract.

The board is expected to formally ratify the purchase Wednesday.

David D'Amico, project manager for CRA, said the state Department of Environmental Conservation wants the site to become a "usable parcel."

About 2,500 tons of debris, or 10 1/2 feet of fill, from the road to the river needs to be addressed, D'Amico said.

The low amount of polychlorinated benzenes, or PCBs, in the soil is above the recommended state levels, he said. The measurement of PCBs is below the acceptable levels in the fill, he said.

A recommended remediation plan could remove the debris and sell it to a landfill, town officials were told. The site could be graded and bordered by a geo-membrane on the east side, then be covered with about 2 feet of gravel and 6 inches of topsoil.

The project could cost as much as $600,000, but D'Amico said he would try to get it down to $400,000.

The work would cost the town about $100,000 to get it to a "pristine state," D'Amico said. This would include applications and surveys. Grant money and other sources would cover the rest of the cost, he said.

D'Amico was adamant throughout the discussion that the DEC was willing to work with the town to come up with a plan that was not cost-prohibitive.

"It sounds like [the DEC's] goal is to turn this into a park as much as we want to," Councilman Larry Helwig said.

O'Toole agreed that the plan is an "almost perfect case for the DEC."

Supervisor Timothy Demler said the town would like to put picnic pavilions at the site, with the possibility of a launch and docks.

D'Amico said the town would need additional studies on the river sediment before any construction on the banks could be planned.

e-mail: niagaranews@buffnews.com

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