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Walmart expresses frustration

An angry Walmart representative scolded the Orchard Park Town Board, and a board member apologized to him Wednesday night.

Attorney Marc Romanowski is wondering why it is taking the board so long to accept the retail giant's draft environmental impact statement, one of several steps left in the environmental review of a new store.

"I've never been in a process that took so long," Romanowski said.

Town officials have contended that Walmart has not submitted all the necessary documents. Walmart representatives countered that they have given a number of copies of the full statement to the town over the past year.

But Town Engineer Wayne Bieler said the company has not supplied the necessary engineering documents.

"What you've done is ripped it up and given us a pile of paper," Bieler said. "A lot of stuff we've asked for is not addressed."

He said he should have a letter for Walmart by Friday that details what other documents the town requires.

Town Councilwoman Nancy Ackerman said she did not know the company had submitted several documents and that the town had not yet let the company know what was missing.

"I'm embarrassed and I'm sorry," she said, adding that she would contact Planning Coordinator Remy Orffeo to see if he has any comments on the document.

Walmart is planning a 135,000-square-foot store on Milestrip Road opposite the Quaker Crossing plaza. The proposal has generated much concern about added traffic in the area, particularly in the plaza.

The draft statement has been prepared by the retailer to address the environmental impacts of the project. Once the town deems that the draft statement adequately addresses the issues, a public review period starts.

Romanowski said Walmart will submit another copy of the draft statement.

"We'll formally resubmit," he said, but he added, "We're going to expect within 30 days we'll have a review."

e-mail: bobrien@buffnews.com

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