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Hospital site plan extension sought

The new $70 million hospital planned in Fredonia looks set for a further delay.

Brooks-TLC Hospital System wants a one year extension of the site plan approval for its intended new facility on East Main Street in Fredonia. The Fredonia Planning Board will meet Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., in the second floor meeting room at Village Hall, to consider the request. The meeting is open to the public.

Pomfret Town Supervisor Dan Pacos said at last week’s meeting he has heard nothing recently about any progress at the intended hospital site, a former Cornell Cooperative Extension grape farm across from Fredonia Central School. He commented that he thinks Brooks-TLC officials are tight-lipped about it at the instruction of the state. The project is dependent on state grants issued a few years ago, but not yet used.

“We are hoping that once we see some settlement on COVID and the vaccine, we’ll be back with the state to continue the dialogue,” Brooks-TLC President and CEO Mary LaRowe told the OBSERVER in a May 1 article. She also said construction is unlikely to begin this year.

That drew a strong response from former Fredonia Mayor Athanasia Landis in the comments section of the article. Landis was mayor when the deal for the new hospital building got announced, but she subsequently lost her re-election bid, defeated by current Mayor Doug Essek.

” ‘Continue the dialogue’ is the key phrase here. I’m afraid that ship has sailed,” she wrote.

In a follow-up comment, she stated, “In a nutshell, everything was in place, until someone decided to visit Albany, talk to some senators, assure them there was strong opposition in both Dunkirk and Fredonia including from elected officials and effectively throw a wrench into the entire project.”

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