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N.Y. lawsuit aims to stem Bass Pro Buffalo aid

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A group of six residents have filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court in an attempt to keep Bass Pro Shops from receiving $35 million in aid for its planned Buffalo, N.Y., waterfront store, according to a Buffalo Business First newspaper report.

The suit named Bass Pro, Empire State Development Corp., the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. and New York Power Authority, according to the report.

The suit contends that public sector dollars being offered to Bass Pro violate New York's constitution because the funds could constitute a gift or loan to a private enterprise, the report said.

In response to an SBJ e-mail concerning the lawsuit, Bass Pro Manager of Communications Larry Whiteley offered no comment.

According to the Buffalo Business First report, Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. and Empire State Development Corp. declined to comment.

Bass Pro officially announced its intentions to build a Buffalo waterside property on Nov. 29, 2004.

A letter written July 19 by New York state Rep. Brian Higgins (N.Y.-27) issued a two-week deadline to Bass Pro CEO John Morris and President James Hagale to make a decision about the property.

In the letter, Higgins wrote of his securement of $250 million in funding for the redevelopment of the Buffalo waterfront, which was proposed in 2001.

Bass Pro has not yet signed an agreement, Whiteley said in the e-mail.

In an opinion column written yesterday, Buffalo Business First Presentation Editor Gary Burns casts doubt on Bass Pro's Buffalo waterfront store materializing regardless of a filed lawsuit.

He writes, "In the real world, where most of us are forced to dwell most of the time, isn’t it true that the entire Bass Pro dream has been a dead duck for a long time?"[[In-content Ad]]


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