"I need to do what is best for the town and make sure that Rotterdam comes first," Mertz said. "We need to be more specific with the plans. Just saying we have an empty building with an area that needs development won't pass."
Owners of the old Grand Union property on Hamburg Street said they have documentation, which proves the town had promised they would be first in line for this next round Restore NY grants.
Restore NY is a state program that gives money to municipalities in order to help with redevelopment or revitalization of commercial areas. The program is expected to have about five rounds of funding; town board member John Mertz said there could be up to eight rounds. In this second round, the state plans to give up to $100 million to municipalities across New York.
In the first round of funding, Rotterdam won $2 million, which is going to be used to redevelop the Rotterdam Commerce Park, owned by the Galesi Group. Tommasone said the Galesi Group plans to rehabilitate buildings three and four to make them more conducive for small business.
County Legislator Carolina Lazzari, R-Rotterdam, attended the meeting. She wanted to know if the town had an idea as to when Hamburg Street business owners should expect to see results.
"You have to give credit for these folks who have invested and tried to make a go of it in this area," she said. "I think it is a lot to ask these folks to hang on without any end in sight."
Mertz said these things take time.
"We can either do it right or do it overnight," he said.
Tommasone said he believes that the Metroplex Development Authority will help invest in Hamburg Street. Metroplex Director Ray Gillen is supposed to attend the Merchant's next meeting Monday, Oct. 15.