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Seneca Nation golf course on track

A $15 million Seneca Nation golf course planned atop the escarpment along the Niagara River is close to final approval.

Lewiston Town Supervisor Fred M. Newlin II said Friday he and the town attorneys will go over an amended environmental impact study in the next two weeks.

Pending their expected stamp of approval, the first of three public hearings over the next two months will be held Jan. 18 in Town Hall, 1375 Ridge Road.

The new impact study submitted to the town by the Seneca Development Corp. has addressed concerns, including preserving patches of wetlands and several hickory trees dotting the 257-acre site along the Robert Moses Parkway at Pletcher Road, Newlin said.

"It appears that all the environmental concerns that had impacted the previous proposal have been addressed," he said.

The Senecas have agreed to build the wetlands into the course and spare the hickory trees, he said.

If the plan doesn't hit any rough patches during the public hearings, the first sod will be turned in the spring and the grass planted later in 2007.

Construction of the clubhouse would follow, with the first tee-off planned for the spring of 2009, Newlin said.

The Seneca Nation has selected Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course Architects, a leading name in golf design, to lay out the 18-hole course.

"We have very ambitious plans for this project and wanted a designer who could help us create a world-class amenity and attraction in the Town of Lewiston," said Barry E. Snyder Sr., president of the Seneca Nation of Indians.

"This will be a terrific asset to the town -- our first public golf course," Newlin said.

The Niagara Falls Country Club is also in the Town of Lewiston, but it is a private golf course.

When asked if he's a golfer, Newlin replied, "No, but I've two years to learn."

e-mail: bmichelmore@buffnews.com

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