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Clayton hotel project inching closer to reality with county, state support

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CLAYTON — The proposed Frink hotel project is inching closer to reality with much support from the state and county governments.

Jefferson County Legislator Michael J. Docteur, R-Cape Vincent, said the county Board of Legislators has agreed to give the town of Clayton additional two years to pay the county $362,000 in back taxes on the property.

The initial payment deadline of Dec. 31 has been pushed back to Dec. 31, 2013, or upon the transfer of the property, giving Clayton time to get a land disposition agreement in place with the developers.

Without the extension, Clayton would have been forced to use tax money to make the payment deadline.

Clayton also has been successful in securing grants to help the project developers fund the $35 million construction and install needed infrastructure on the riverfront property.

The potential developers of Frink — the Buffalo-based Krog Corp. and Hart Hotels — and Clayton most recently were awarded a $3 million state grant for the redevelopment of the 8.4-acre property.

Of the funds awarded, $2.25 million will directly help Krog Corp. pay for the multimillion-dollar construction project and the remaining $750,000 will be spent by Clayton to put infrastructure on the site, town Supervisor Justin A. Taylor said.

Clayton so far has secured $1 million in grants — including a $250,000 joint federal-state grant the Clayton Local Development Corp. secured for the site earlier this year — to install water and wastewater systems, sidewalks, roads and electrical utilities on Frink.

While many community members still doubt that a 120- to 140-room facility can make enough money in the winter to stay afloat, Clayton officials and representatives of Krog and Hart Hotels are pushing the project forward with much optimism.

The feasibility study results that have persuaded the partners to move forward with a large, luxury hotel project are yet to be made public.

The potential developers hope to break ground on the multimillion-dollar project next fall and open this “four-diamond hotel” as soon as spring 2014 before the summer tourist rush.

Clayton is gathering comments regarding the Frink redevelopment online at www.townofclayton.com/CLDCcomments.htm and plans to hold several public meetings to pass on information and obtain feedback on the proposed hotel project.

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