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Batavia residents raise concerns about closing Park Road

BATAVIA – Kathy Owen, a longtime resident of Redfield Parkway, told the Batavia Town Board Wednesday that she would like to see Batavia Downs Gaming officials expand their traffic study to take into account the impact of closing Park Road.

“It will impact an entire ward. Their traffic study doesn’t take into effect that Dunkin’ Donuts will be built in a year and it doesn’t go out to Oak Street, where traffic backs up already,” Owen said.

She and three other residents of the street – which runs parallel to the gaming facility, separated by Tops Market – appealed to the Town Board to consider the ramifications of closing Park Road.

Park Road, a Town of Batavia street, connects Route 63 to Route 98, allowing for access to a shopping center along Veterans Memorial Drive and the Thruway interchange.

Batavia Downs Gaming, owned by Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., is situated on Park Road just north of Kmart and just south of Richmond Avenue. OTB officials are hoping to close the road about 150 feet south of the center line of Richmond Avenue and about 850 feet north of the intersection of Route 63.

Town Supervisor Gregory H. Post said that he welcomed public comments and pledged to “keep everyone informed as we move through the process.”

The board voted to serve as lead agency to conduct an environmental review of the requested closure, determining that the proposed closing would be an unlisted action as defined under State Environmental Quality Review regulations.

“We’re at the very beginning of this,” Post said.

Post also addressed OTB’s proposal to pay the town $1 million and relinquish a parcel of the gaming facility’s property for the possible relocation of its fire station, which currently is on Route 63, across from the Park Road entrance.

“It is one of many options we are looking at,” Post said. “We have been discussing the future location of the fire department over the past 10 years, trying to come up with the best results for the least amount of money, as the town continues to grow.”

In other action, the board authorized the purchase of two 2016 Ford F250 extended cab pickup trucks from Ed Shults Ford of Jamestown for $28,000 each, replacing 2013 models that will be sold at auction. Post said the town expects to receive about $20,000 each for the used vehicles.