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Volker Says State Ready to Announce Allocation of "Adelphia Money"

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – WBFO News has learned that New York State is getting ready to divide up money once promised to Adelphia Communications. State Senator Dale Volker says an official announcement could come as early as next week.

Five years ago, Governor Pataki and the State made a $50 million commitment to Adelphia to build a regional operations center in downtown Buffalo. But after Adelphia filed bankruptcy and the fraud scandal surrounding the Rigas family broke, funding was put on hold.

However, there now appears to be movement to recommit those dollars for a number of economic development projects in the City. Senator Volker says some of the funding has already been committed to projects like a Bass Pro sporting goods store and the biomedical corridor. But he says other projects will also benefit.

"Money is going to the Frank Lloyd Wright (gasoline) station, and a million dollars to Michigan Avenue for a museum," Volker said. "The rest of the state is looking at us and saying my gosh Buffalo is taking off."

Volker says the funding was agreed on by the Legislature and Governor five years ago guaranteeing that it would eventually come to Buffalo.

"To tell you the truth, we were ready to announce the funding last year. But there were other factors involved," Volker said. "I can assure you if the Bass Pro people had run in and said you have to make the final pledge to use, we would have announced this four or five months ago."

Volker says the state is continuing to prod Bass Pro leaders to make some movement on the proejct. But he does not believe there are any hang ups that would stop the company from building in the city. Volker says he believes that by December, Bass Pro will finally begin to concentrate on Buffalo.

Volker says he has learned that other cities are also complaining that Bass Pro is taking too long to show signs of construction for other promised stores.