The furniture and rugs are in and the walls are painted, but the Holiday Inn Express in the long-vacant former Dunlop headquarters has one more major hurdle to jump before it can open: sewers.
The Grand Island Town Board agreed Monday to approve easements that will allow sewage system work to go forward. The work will be paid for by the hotel owner, Grand Island Hotels LLC. Supervisor Nathan McMurray said the group paid an $18,000 permit fee in advance. The former office building had a septic system that was inadequate for the hotel, but a pipe that runs under the I-190 was found that town engineers said can accommodate a sewer line.
Councilman Michael Madigan voted for the project, but objected to the matter being added to the town board agenda at the last minute. McMurray said the town is rushing to help "open up a building that has been closed for decades."
Project Manager Edward Caza said the developer needs to get the pipes laid in the next few weeks or it will lose its contractor. He said he hopes the hotel opens by Memorial Day weekend, but if it doesn't it will cost the developer $5,000 a day or more in lost revenues and a possible $10,000 fine from Holiday Inn Express.