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Pelletter: Seek input on school, Hanford Bay

OBSERVER Photo by J.M. Lesinski The old school on Main Street in Silver Creek, pictured, is one of the sites that could be discussed at a proposed multi-municipal meeting between Hanover, Hanford Bay and Silver Creek on property development in the area.

SILVER CREEK — An idea for a multi-municipal area development meeting in the northernmost part of Chautauqua County was proposed by Hanover Deputy Supervisor Louis Pelletter at the latest meeting of the Silver Creek Village Board.

“Some of the Hanford Bay Planning Board members, one in particular, thought that we should have a joint, community-wide, not a complaint session, but a ‘where are we going from here?’ (meeting),” Pelletter began, going on to mention a previous meeting of the same kind in the 1990s that yielded positive results.

“It worked out very well; there was a real interest in the community. It wasn’t a complaint session, it was more like ‘what do you want to do with the Main Street school? Do we have any developers?'” Pelletter went on to say. “There’s a lot of businesspeople in Hanford and Sunset Bays that I understand would be interested in helping out. I think that’s a way to find out.”

From there, Pelletter went on to note area hot-spots that would be included, as well as an idea for the general process moving forward. “What are we going to do about Hideaway? Anybody interested in Hideaway? Anybody interested in the school? We certainly need a hotel,” he commented. “We throw that out into the community … hear their ideas on what we could possibly do, especially people that’ve been in business for a long time.”

An exact date for the meeting may likely be announced at the next Hanover Town Board meeting, where Pelletter plans to discuss the matter with the town for the first time. “I will be talking to the town at the next meeting and seeing what their feelings are,” he stated. “We could set something up in the fall, before it starts snowing, we’d have a community-wide (meeting) … and we’ll see what happens.”

Pelletter emphasized that the meeting would not have the exact same policies of a town or village board meeting, but would focus more on the business side of things. “Like I said, this is not going to be a complaint (session),” he said, adding. “It’s strictly business and where we’re going. … We’re not here to hear complaints, we’re here about the future.”

Later in the meeting, Mayor Jeffrey Hornburg brought up the old Main Street school Pelletter mentioned previously and provided a small update on the long-abandoned building. “Louis mentioned the school, I can tell you this,” he noted. “There’s been nothing definite done (but) … I forget what their name is, but a construction (company) is still interested in the school.”

Hornburg went on to state, “About two weeks ago, they were out with an architect, an engineer and somebody from the federal government. With all good construction projects we want federal funding. They’re still looking at it. … This has been going on for better than a year, and I think that’s a good thing that they’re still talking about it.”

Regarding the school, Pelletter then added, “If we do this meeting, I’ll invite (Rep.) Tom Reed, (Assemblyman) Andy Goodell, (County Executive) George Borrello. … We’ll ask them all these questions about the hows and whys, and funding.”

Following the reference Pelletter made to funding for the school, Hornburg also gave an update on the brownfield funds sought previously. “The brownfield did not work out,” he stated. “The (construction company in question) did said that there wasn’t enough there for the brownfield … and now they’re looking for different federal funding to help them along with the process … but they are still talking.”

When asked what the company is looking to do with the old school, Hornburg gave a brief, unofficial summary of the plans he’d been made aware of thus far. “It’s my understanding, and I haven’t seen any plans, I’m not privy to any special information,” he noted. “But it’s my understanding that they want to do commercial on the ground floor and apartments on the next two.”

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