Homer Dollar General heads to county next week

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An outside engineer will be hired to look over plans for construction of a new Dollar General store in Homer.

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The town planning board met again last night with developers seeking to advance that project, set to demolish the Super Scoops Ice Cream Shop at 5 North West Street and replace it with a more than 9k square-foot retail market.

Dan Griffiths — of Griffiths Engineering — and Jason Lane, a regional construction coordinator with Dollar General, heard from multiple residents during a virtual public hearing that began the meeting.

Some expressed disappointment about the pending closure of Super Scoops, a decision that is mostly out of the town’s hands and left up to the landowner who rents out the property.

Other issues coming up include parking, lighting and water drainage.

“This is a very involved process with the DOT; they take a long time and look at every little section of it,” Griffiths said, referencing his initial site plan drawings. “Just recently, they [DOT] told us they want a sidewalk in front because there are some existing on the sides now. We also submitted our drainage report, so they have everything now and everything’s been moving forward positively.”

Planning board member Donald Ferris is still skeptical about moving ahead too quickly. He made a motion to bring in outside engineer to review Griffiths’ design and ensure everything is accurate.

Ferris and co-board member Mike Pollak both worked hand-in-hand with the develops of other large projects in the town, such as the Speedway at 31 South West Street.

Others, according to Ferris, have not shown the same intent to keep local officials involved.

“I was less than ecstatic with the review of the Byrne Dairy project. Now, I’m informed the edge of their retention pond is just a few feet away from the sidewalk,” said Ferris. “That should’ve been caught way before the construction phase.”

Previous concerns have been raised by the board over whether enough parking will be made available, which the applicants assured there would be.

It’s also possible a local variance could be required to subdivide the lot from Riverbank Auto Sales, located adjacent to the property at 15 South West Street.

The Cortland County planning board could make a final decision at its next meeting on Wednesday (October 21).

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