HANOVER - Some exciting news for the town of Hanover and Chautauqua County came out of the County Legislature Planning and Economic Development Committee's meeting Thursday at Cabana Sam's in Sunset Bay: the proposed water park and hotel on Route 5 and 20 is going ahead.
"One of the reasons we had the meeting in Sunset Bay this evening is because earlier this spring, there was erosion issues here," said Fred Croscut, committee chairman. "There were issues with the marina and issues with trash building up around the land and bridges ... and (the county Industrial Development Agency) approved a $700,000 loan this afternoon for the water park and hotel here."
During the CCIDA's meeting, an AL Tech Loan for MMM Real Estate Development Inc. was approved.
Chautauqua County Legislator George Borrello (right), R-Irving, shows county Planning and Economic Development Committee Chairman Fred Croscut and the rest of the committee members the land where a proposed water park and hotel will be constructed on Route 5 and 20 in the town of Hanover.
Photo by Greg Fox
"There's going to be a hotel and water park there that's 20,000 square feet. There's going to be a mall-type area eventually on the development ... and there's going to be a fast-food restaurant and a regular restaurant," said Bill Daly, CCIDA administrative director.
"This is a $10 million project. This is huge. (Michelle Borrello-Grisante and her father, Tony Borrello) are coming to the end of financing with the bank. (Grisante and Lindsay O'Connor) came to us and asked for $700,000. It's going to be a seven-year loan at 4 percent on the equipment in the water park."
Daly said construction on the water park will begin as soon as possible. The company is looking to complete the project by June 1, just in time for busy season in Sunset Bay. About 100 jobs will be created as a result of the water park and 75 to 100 construction jobs will be created.
"They're not kidding," Daly said. "Because there's been a need for a hotel before they got going and the Senecas are going to become very aggressive in their economic development soon, as well."
"There's no place to come in (Sunset Bay) if you want just an overnight stay or a weekend, so, to me, expanding our season and bringing more people here was really dependent on creating a real hotel," said committee member George Borrello, R-Irving. "Not only is the Thruway right here, you also have the beach, the hospital, the county snowmobile trail, right here."
Borrello said the last plans he saw showed a 70-room, three-story hotel with an indoor water park resort attached to it. The building will be built similar to a Holiday Inn Express layout.
"Now, having a hotel here will attract many other chain restaurants to the area because it will meet a lot of their franchise requirements, as far as being in the vicinity of a hotel," Borrello said. "We've got a lot of great development to come."
Daly also reported to the committee that the IDA approved a $60,000 loan for Shaant Industries, better known as Ultrapak, for remodeling their Dunkirk facility. A second loan for $550,000 for Gren Ventures, LLC was also approved. The company will use the loan for a new recycling center.
Also as part of the meeting, the committee confirmed the appointments of 12 members of the Chautauqua Lake Management Commission. Only one appointee, Chuck Battaglia, is new. Battaglia worked as lake manager for Cassadaga Lake
The committee also approved a list of projects recommended by the County Water Quality Task Force's Waterways Panel for reception of occupancy tax funding under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act. That list included streambank stabilization for Goose Creek, shoreline stabilization and summer education at Camp Merz in and streambank protection in Silver Creek.
"A majority of these projects are all high quality and could be funded if we had the additional funding sources for them," said Jeff Diers, county watershed coordinator.
The committee also voted to table a resolution that would request the IDA to adopt a local labor and supplier policy for projects receiving financial assistance from the group. Daly said the resolution would be risky to adopt because it is unconstitutional to regulate trade and dictate who and what is used in the construction of various projects.
"We as an IDA need to go back and take a look at this if we really want to adopt it," he said. "A lot of stuff you can buy locally, but you can't force people to find it here. The concept is good ... but we do that de facto anyhow in our projects."
Daly also said the IDA did not receive any communication from Legislator Robert Whitney, the requester of the resolution.
"Anybody can talk to us anytime," he said. "I would like the conversation. This resolution is, like, where did this come from?"
After the meeting, the committee toured Sunset Bay and visited two boat launches on Cattaraugus Creek to better understand a need to dredge the area, which Borrello stressed is necessary for the development and safety of the area. Borrello also showed the committee where the hotel and water park will be constructed.