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New dollar store gets green light in G’town


GERMANTOWN—The Planning Board voted 5-2 to accept the site plan for a Dollar General retail store on Route 9G at a short meeting July 26. With this approval, it appears Dollar General can move into town.

Voting against the site plan were Planning Board chairman Stephen Reynolds and board member Margaret Della Cioppa. Both had seen the project through its three-and-a-half-year consideration by the Planning Board.

Before voting, Mr. Reynolds said he did not think the town’s Scenic View Overlay, part of its zoning law, was carefully considered during the process, and he would submit a letter detailing his objections, for the record.

Ms. Della Cioppa said the store’s 71-foot length was a violation of the town’s zoning law.

All other planners voted “aye” without comment when called upon: Kerrie Abela, Peter Dedrick, Emil Ericson, Tim Otty and George Sharpe Sr.

When a hiss came from the audience, Mr. Reynolds reprimanded it sharply: “No comments like that,” he said. “We’re better than that.”

When the town opened its environmental review of the proposal two years ago the Dollar General store was listed as being 9,100 square feet on a 1.3-acre lot, with a 38-car parking lot. The project developer is a separate company called Primax Properties.

In related matters during the half-hour meeting July 26, before voting on the proposal the board discussed its escrow account. At that time it was just over $2,000, and the bill for legal work on the proposal from former Town Attorney Tal Rappleyea–which the board had just approved–will “wipe that out,” said new Town Attorney Corinne Smith.

The engineer hired by the town to review the proposal recommended an escrow amount of $3,000 for his fees, she said, and Ms. Smith estimated her fees at $5,000 for drafting the resolution that the Planning Board would approve a few minutes later, and “everything” that she had done so far.

She proposed an escrow account of $8,000 and a $175,000 performance bond for construction. The Planning Board agreed.

Ms. Smith assured the board that a “true escrow” account would be deposited with the town. Bills would be presented first to the Planning Board for its approval. The balance would be accessible.

She also reviewed the amendments to the store project approval resolution that the Planning Board had made at its July 23 meeting.

The audience of some 20 people at the July 26 meeting was about half the size of the audience meeting three days earlier. Instead of three representatives from Primax Properties, there was one, Jacob Lamme, a Primax attorney, from McNamee & Lochner in Albany.

Mr. Lamme stood to thank the board for its vote and shook hands with all the Planning Board members, further thanking them.

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