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No love for Love's Travel Stop plan for Grand Island

Grand Island has a simple message for a company that wants to build a truck stop here:


Different factions on the Town Board this week agreed they did not support plans for a Love's Travel Stop, a national chain truck stop and country store which has proposed plans to build a new location on the north side of Whitehaven Road, west of the I-190.

Love's Travel Stops has 410 locations in 40 states, according to its website. The closest one in New York is in Binghamton.

Supervisor Nathan D. McMurray encouraged the public to speak out against the project when it is presented at the Planning Board meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday. He said he was "firmly opposed to the truck stop" and "a massive parking lot full of tractor trailers" and would do everything in his power to discourage the project.

The proposed truck stop location is near the state's multimillion-dollar Grand Island Welcome Center, which is under construction at Alvin and Whitehaven roads and expected to open in August.

McMurray said in a written statement, "There have been allegations that Love's intends to tie into the facility of the Welcome Center. These rumors are unfounded."

Councilman Michael Madigan said during the board meeting that there is a "belief" that the Welcome Center will hook into the town sewer system and Love's is relying on hooking up to that sewer line. He said he was in agreement that he does not support the Love's Travel Stop.

McMurray and Councilman Peter Marston, a former Planning Board chairman, said the state project will use three large septic tanks, not a sewer line.

McMurray accused Madigan of spreading misinformation and holding secret meetings. He said during the board meeting that the Welcome Center has nothing to do with the truck stop. He added in writing that the Welcome Center will be a tourism destination that emphasizes history, local products and natural wonders.

Marston said after the meeting that Love's had proposed building a truck stop on the same site a few years ago, but it did not move forward, likely because there were no sewer lines in that part of town. But he said theoretically Love's could also put in septic tanks and could benefit from road improvements that the state Welcome Center model has proposed.

"What they are proposing now is only speculation," Marston said of Love's. He noted that the presentation at the next Planning Board meeting is part of the process. "We have to let the project come forward and let the facts speak for themselves."



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