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Officials explore possibilities for Bethlehem Steel site

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Bethlehem Steel may have closed its Lackawanna plant 33-years ago, but the city and Albany are still groping for a way to clean and develop the site.

There was so much information provided Wednesday night about economic development in the former Steel City, at least one speaker says she needed some time to think about it all. The meeting in St. Anthony Church dealt with cleanup, economic development on the steel plant site and potential Brownfield Opportunity Areas across the street.

"Every city that I have been working in wants some kind of connectivity, not just by car," consultant Daniel Riker told the gathering.

"A lot of cars travel through here every single day. How do we take advantage of those people traveling through the city, in the city?"

Erie County wants to put a connecting bike path along Route 5, potentially connecting to a bike path along Smokes Creek to Lake Erie. The development plan for the steel plant calls for business parks off the highway. The BOA plan covers the steel plant and the First Ward all the way to the railroad corridor, potentially with major development tax breaks.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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