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Dunkirk agency tables action on proposal to develop storage units

DUNKIRK – The Dunkirk Local Development Corporation tabled action on an offer for the former Niagara Motors site on Lamphere Street in the city.

Richard Betts submitted a proposal to erect storage units on the 4-acre property. He was the only developer who expressed an interest in the land and offered $6,000. Betts answered questions via a conference call at the meeting held Tuesday in City Hall.

“My purpose is to locate storage units on the back half of the property,” he said. “The front part of the property would be for another use.”

A Columbus, Ohio, resident, Betts said his goal is to move to the area and develop this, his first commercial venture.

Betts added that there is a strong demand for storage units in Dunkirk, Fredonia and beyond.

He said he checked out other storage unit locations, from Ripley to Silver Creek, and determined they were fully occupied.

The property was marketed by the city’s development office and proposals were accepted until Aug. 13.

The lot has been vacant since 1992 and was cleared about 10 years ago.

Members of the DLDC raised issues about the lack of interest and the best development for the site, which is adjacent to Fieldbrook Foods production facility and near Route 60.

Agency members agreed to reconsider Betts’ offer pending confirmation from the state Department of Transportation that there would be access to the land from Route 60. They also wanted access to a report by the state Department of Environmental Conservation that the lot was clear of any tanks or chemicals and was appropriate for the use intended by the developer.

“I hope we can give Mr. Betts a decision soon, because he would like to erect a building during this construction season,” said Mayor A.J. Dolce. The mayor said he hoped to have the DEC report and written confirmation on access from Route 60 soon.