Van Buren: Course clear for construction

Future site of water park gets Empire Zone designation

Van Buren officials have given their blessing to a 97.4-acre parcel that will be the future site of an indoor water park.

At the Aug. 4 Van Buren Town Board meeting, board members unanimously approved a resolution supporting an Onondaga County Empire Zone designation for the property in the vicinity of Walters and Winchell roads (Councilor Pat Dickman was not present at the meeting). Supervisor Claude Sykes said the designation was the last step needed to begin construction on the water attraction, which will be built by Action Cos.

Featuring a seven- to eight-story tower with six to eight tube slides fixed to it for access, the 40,000-square-foot proposed water park will boast a lazy river, slides and a small outdoor area with a pool and two slides. Sykes said Jacob Wright, Action Cos.'s president and chief executive officer, could begin construction as early as this fall.

The Van Buren property near Exit 39 on the Thruway is currently home to an 87-room Wingate Hotel, which Action Cos. opened in 2006, and a Quaker Steak & Lube restaurant. Officials have faith Wright will finish the project, despite the decline in the economy.

"[Jacob is] a great guy to work with," said Councilor Ronald Dudzinski referring to his interactions with the Van Buren Planning Board.

"Somehow he pulls off what he says he's going to do," Sykes added.

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