HANOVER - When the news was released that the proposed hotel and water park in Irving may move elsewhere broke, the hopes of many residents broke with it.
One Hanover resident, Ruth Deike, voiced her feelings on the Facebook group "Silver Creek & Beyond," an open group set up for locals to communicate and catch up.
"I had read the paper and I was upset that everytime something like this comes up it is always about whose fault it is. We don't care whose fault it is, we just want the project," Deike said in a phone interview.
OBSERVER Photo by Greg Fox
Charlie Zappia of Buffalo signs a hotel/water park petition Friday at Aunt Millie's Family Restaurant in Irving. The petition asks the Hanover Town Board to 'work in all sincerity' with Tony Borrello, the developer of the proposed hotel and water park on Beebe Road, which should bring tourism to the area. Hundreds of signatures have already been collected.
Her first post on May 28 inspired over 100 comments in support of action and almost 80 likes.
"We aren't really organized," she said. "This is a Facebook thing ... it just sort of happened."
Members of the Facebook group began planning a petition and a rally to support the project.
Elected officials and the developers sat down on May 29 and apparently got the project back on track, provided the town of Hanover fast tracks the building permit for the McDonalds part of the project.
Even after the good news, residents decided to continue with plans to support the project at the next town board meeting Monday at 7:30 p.m. in King Road Park, 601 King Road, Forestville.
Deike placed petitions at several local restaurants and within the first day collected over 100 signatures. By Thursday, more than 369 signatures were collected.
The petition states, "We, the citizens of the town of Hanover, petition the Hanover Town Board to work in all sincerity with Mr. Borrello, the developer of the proposed water park to be built in Irving. We understand that the water park in Erie, Pa. has been very successful in bringing tourism to that area. We do not want to miss the opportunity to bring the same results to our area. Please work with all diligence to see that this project is not lost."
Deike also hung posters in local restaurants advertising the rally.
She was disappointed to report there has been some silent opposition to the rally's cause. Deike said the posters were taken down and some petitions were stolen.
"The rally posters just said, 'Come out and show your support," she said, voicing her confusion as to why this would have happened.
Despite this, many residents have vowed to sign the petition and attend the rally Monday.
"We can't afford to lose anymore in our community," Deike said, adding the consensus in the community is that this project needs to go forward.
Petitions are available to sign at Aunt Millie's, Tom's Restaurant and Tim Horton's, all in Irving, The Garden Cafe, Cut Above Hair Salon, Ellie's Deli and Hanford Market, all in Silver Creek, and Cave's in Forestville until Monday before the town board meeting.
"I would really like to see people show up," Deike said.
The hotel/water park project was presented in August 2012 to the CCIDA by Tony Borrello and Michelle Borrello-Grisante of MMM Development 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.
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