WELLSVILLE — It will be next month before the town of Wellsville officially hears Wal-Mart’s stance on trying to build a store near Airway Drive.
Meanwhile, another business, scheduled to close Dec. 16, with 54 employees being laid off, has drawn possible business development.
Town Supervisor Donald “Tink” LaForge Jr., at Wednesday’s Town Board meeting, said he’d received an e-mail from Wal-Mart attorney Kelly Pronti. The e-mail said Wal-Mart’s decision on the status of a store won’t be made until October. He said he told the other Town Board members Tuesday.
“I contacted her and said, ‘What’s going on? There’s a gentleman from Wal-Mart saying it’s still alive and viable and you’re telling me it’s dead,’” LaForge said. “She said, ‘No, I was told it was going to be, but they postponed the meeting twice now and now it’s October before they put the final knife to it … or do whatever they’re going to do. They’re going to discuss it again.
Town Councilmen Shad Alsworth and Jon Gardner said it’s good that information is being shared and everyone is on the same page. Alsworth and Gardner are on a town committee on Wal-Mart and had met last week with Wal-Mart’s manager on the potential Wal-Mart project. In June, Appellate Division upheld the Wellsville Citizens for Responsible Development’s appeal of Judge Terrence Parker’s decision. Parker ruled in favor of the town’s environmental review of the proposed project.
Alsworth and Gardner have reportedly been talking to the community about the Wal-Mart issue.
“You guys are generating the right thing. You’re going off to get the community behind us and that’s what it’s going to take,” LaForge said. “Hopefully it will be successful.”
Gardner said, “One of the thoughts which came out of conversations was the idea that we can’t forget that people who may use the store are south of the New York state border.”
LaForge said, “Absolutely — we get a lot of people from Pennsylvania.”
“We were happy to hear … Sen. (Charles) Schumer is doing the negotiating with GE (Lufkin is a division of GE Oil & Gas), concerning the $800,000 they’re going to owe back ...” LaForge said. “They don’t know how it’s going to resolve, but they do have several people who have already voiced an interest in the facility, so that was thrilling to me to hear that.
“He didn’t have any names and he wasn’t going to give us any names and I didn’t want to ask him for any names,” the town supervisor said. “They have been approached. That’s a positive thing to me and I’m really happy to hear it.”