HANOVER - The dream of opening a hotel and water park in the town of Hanover is still alive.
According to Legislator George Borrello, the meeting he organized between developers Tony Borrello and Michelle Borrello-Grisante and town and county officials got the multi-million dollar project back on track.
"I think we have a very positive result," Legislator Borrello said after the meeting Thursday. "I think everyone got a better understanding of what the challenges were for them, what the town's concerns were, everyone got a chance to put their concerns on the table and be addressed. I think this really helped to clear a log jam with the situation."
In addition to the Borrellos, Hanover Supervisor Todd Johnson, Hanover Councilman Kevin O'Connell, Chautauqua County Industrial Development Director Kevin Sanvidge and CCIDA COO Richard Dixon attended the meeting to try to save the project.
Legislator Borrello said MMM Development brought more detailed drawings for the project, which gave town officials more confidence in the project going forward in Hanover.
He said MMM Development agreed go forward with the project at the Beebe Road location if the town could fast track its building permit.
"We got to look at the plan and talk in more detail and essentially with McDonalds looking for a building permit. We talked about what would be needed to fast track the McDonalds building permit and that seemed to be something the town seemed eager to get done and get McDonalds up and running. Tony and Michelle agreed if we can do that then we can work at getting this hotel/water park back on track in the town of Hanover," he said.
Legislator Borrello explained to fast track the building permit, town officials will need to work internally with the code enforcement officer, but he does not see this as a problem.
"They do have the necessary building plans from McDonalds. Essentially McDonalds builds thousands of these things each year. They have a detailed and very workable set of plans. McDonalds ... has put in stormwater management plans even though they are not required to by law. They are very good at building, and that's what really justifies it being fast tracked. It's a plan that's been done many, many times in many, many places," he explained.
He said as long as the town fast tracks the building permit and hires an independent contractor to deal with the building inspections of the hotel/water park, MMM Development committed to continuing the project in the town of Hanover.
"I'm thrilled that everybody was able to come together and sit down and really work together to save this project. I felt like everybody that was there put aside whatever differences they may have had in the past to make this work. All sides did that and it was just fantastic," Legislator Borrello added.
Some town of Hanover residents have begun planning a rally for the next Hanover Town Board meeting to be held June 9 at 7:30 p.m. in King Road Park. A petition encouraging the town board to work with the developers and see that this project is not relocated will also be circulated at Aunt Millie's Restaurant in Irving and the Garden Cafe in Silver Creek.
Legislator Borrello said he had heard rumblings about a rally but also wanted residents to know that this meeting helped with that goal.
"The best thing the people in the town can do is understand that the process is moving forward as quickly as possible and understand that the town, MMM Development and the county are all speaking the same language now. I appreciate that people are concerned about it and that's why I wanted to get everyone on the same page," he said.
The project was presented in August 2012 to the CCIDA with the plan of building a three-story hotel with 70 to 74 rooms, a banquet hall, meeting room and fitness center as well as an attached water park and two restaurants. The development is estimated to add 70 construction jobs and 150 full- and part-time permanent jobs. It is also hoped this development will attract other businesses to the area.