WELLSVILLE — Another expansion is on the horizon for Walgreens — this time in the town of Wellsville.
A last week’s town board meeting, members were asked to become the lead agency in a building project proposed by the pharmacy store chain.
Walgreens currently has a presence in the village with one store at the corner of North Main and State streets and another on Route 417 across from Riverwalk Plaza. Now, Walgreens wants to put in a new store at the former Bogee Industries plant, presently the site of Babbitting Service Inc. — also on Route 417 but also on the town/village line.
Board members speculated that the reason for the new project is because the present Route 417 site does not have a drive-through window, which the new location would make possible while also expanding the store size.
It was noted that because it would be located on the town line or even part of it in the village, the location would be eligible for lower village electrical rates.
However, while asked by Walgreens to proceed quickly, town board members were inclined to put the brakes on and give themselves more time to review plans, at least until December’s meeting. Town Supervisor Shad Alsworth also noted that it would give the town time to contact other agencies that might be inclined to take lead status, including the village.
It was only a few years ago that Walgreens moved into the former Rite Aid Pharmacy location on the Bolivar Road, offering a second location to the area. The location of that building lot is limited for expansion.
Walgreens officials could not be reached for comment.
The board also heard from Kevin Clark, owner of Trout Run Campground in Stannards. At last month’s board meeting, property owner Victor White, who lives across 417 from the first entrance to the campground, questioned the safety of large camping units turning into the campground, especially from the southbound lane.
A small incline prevents motorists from seeing the units until they are on top of them, White maintains.
Highway Superintendent Dean Arnold was asked to look into the matter at the last meeting. He said the matter was strictly under the purview of the New York State Department of Transportation, which has plans for a traffic study.
After October’s meeting, Clark said he has plans to install signs warning motorists of the driveway entrances.
Clark further claimed that White’s complaint was in retaliation for Clark’s complaint that White is operating an unlicensed auto repair shop, unlicensed salvage business and an unlicensed junk yard on the across-the-road property. He offered copies of regulations for junkyards in towns that have no zoning for such facilities.
Former town supervisor Dar Fanton, who was attending the meeting on another matter, told the board there is a town law, dating from the early 1980s, pertaining to junkyards.
Alsworth said, “I don’t know exactly what we can do. Nothing can be remedied if we don’t do this right. … We will take it seriously; obviously, there are two sides to every story.”
The matter will be forwarded to the town attorney.
The regular board meeting was preceded by a budget hearing for the upcoming year’s town budget.
Giving a synopsis of the budget Alsworth said, “the percentage of increase in the overall budget is slightly above zero.”
He added that for the first time since he has been on the board, funds have been taken ($22,950) from the unexpended fund balance to offset any increase in the tax levy.
“Our overall consensus was to get the budget as close to a zero increase as possible. The town finances are in very good shape. The state has increased our rating from 21 to 41.”
The amount to be raised by taxes is $1,720,645.11. Last year, the amount to be raised by taxes was $2,600 less. The new amount is under the state tax cap, Alsworth said.
Part of the increase, the supervisor said, is because a new tax collector was approved in the last election and the town’s cost of that position had to be added to the budget.
At the end of the regular board meeting, the members present, a quorum, voted unanimously to pass the budget.