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Plans for sports complex in Hamburg progressing, supervisor says

Plans for a new public-private ice rink and sports complex in Hamburg are progressing, Supervisor Steven J. Walters said.

“We all recognize the Nike Base ice arena is outdated. We all recognize that the ice arena at the Nike base does not and cannot accommodate the programs that we already have,” he told members of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce on Thursday at Ilio DiPaolo’s Restaurant during his annual State of the Town address.

The first public airing of the venture came last July, but since then details of the proposal have been slim. The Town Board last July approved a nondisclosure agreement with Nustadia Recreation, with headquarters in Hamilton, Ont., and D.V. Brown and Associates, a mechanical contractor of the City of Tonawanda.

“Hopefully, in the next couple months, we’ll be able to bring more details to the table,” Walters said. “This is a community project and, like all community projects, we want public input.”

Walters acknowledged that he is working with a new board following the November election of Thomas M. Best Jr. as a councilman.

“I’m happy to say that this new board has pledged their support to getting something done,” he said, but he added, “There’s still a lot of work to be done. You’re not going to see a shovel in the ground in the next couple weeks.”

Walters also talked about a project that is almost constructed, the $54 million FedEx shipping plant at Lake Erie Commerce Park near Route 5. He said the industrial park was “shovel ready” because the town took the initiative to complete environmental reviews before FedEx came along. “We said, ‘Look at our facility.’ Any place you go, it’s going to take you a year or two just get through all these processes. With us, you can have a shovel in the ground in a month,” Walters said. “That was the selling point. That was the deciding factor.”

Walters also noted the town finished construction last year on the addition at the Hamburg Library and renovations at the new community center on Southwestern Boulevard.