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Hamburg moves forward on sportsplex but won't talk about it

Hamburg Town Board members Monday evening got an update on the proposed $25 million to $30 million sportsplex.

But they would not reveal the latest on the public-private venture.

"The board has directed him to provide information that he has not provided," Supervisor Steven J. Walters said about the meeting with Marty Starkman, president of Sportstar of Toronto, Ont.

Once there is a signed agreement to purchase the property, an announcement will be made. Walters said.

He also has said a public meeting would be held to explain the proposal.

Walters said he hoped to have more information in two weeks.

The board has carried much of its conversation on the proposed recreational facility in executive session, before and after hiring Sportstar for up to $140,000 to undertake a feasibility and financial analysis of the project.

If the town decides not to go forward with the proposal, the town would have to pay for the work the company already performed.

A representative of Rink Management Services Corp. of Virginia, carrying a packet with the title "Hambug Sportsplex Feasibility, Including Memorandums of Understanding" also met with the board and Starkman for about a half hour before the board's regular meeting Monday evening. The town contracted with Sportstar to study the feasibility, prepare a financial analysis and acquire the property for the sportsplex.

Starkman said last August he was "close" to identifying a parcel of land for the project, which would include twin ice rinks, a field house, gyms, a pro shop and restaurant. And in February, the supervisor said an announcement on the location was almost ready.

In Hamburg, dueling rinks carry different risks for taxpayers

Meanwhile, the town has received a proposal for a $15 million competing private facility.

The Kaleta group, with Liberatore Management Group and Ellicott Development,  last week presented a sketch plan of its proposed twin rinks at the site of the former McKinley Park Inn on McKinley Parkway near McKinley Mall.

The Kaleta group plans a 26,000 square-foot addition be built on the back of the existing building to house the rinks. The complex would include multisport fields, and be home to the HITS Foundation, a charity founded by former Buffalo Sabres player Patrick Kaleta.

"There are traffic concerns," Planning consultant Drew Reilly said Monday about the Kaleta proposal.

He said the problem is leaving the parking lot on McKinley, and studies might point to the need for a traffic signal, or another exit

"Have you ever tried to go left on McKinley?" he said.

He said information on traffic is one of the items that would be looked at when more formal plans and studies are submitted.




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