The removal of a deed restriction for the proposed new site of the SPCA Serving Erie County has been requested by the West Seneca Town Board, eliminating another hurdle toward next spring’s anticipated groundbreaking .
The resolution adopted Monday night asks the Erie County Legislature to remove a restriction related to 300 Harlem Road that dates back to when the county sold the land to the town in 1969. The approximately 10-acre property was among eight parcels sold to the town for a little more than $22,800, according to Mark Cornell, a spokesman for the County Executive’s Office.
The restriction – that the property be used for municipal purposes – inexplicably remained in place when it was sold in June 2001 to Barbara A. and Maurice D. Cooper Jr. for $150,000. The Coopers operated a skate park that has since been demolished in anticipation of the property’s sale to the SPCA.
The nonprofit humane society announced in 2011 that it planned to build a new animal shelter that would replace the Town of Tonawanda facility it has now occupied for more than 50 years. While the SPCA is exempt from property taxes, it does pay special district taxes for things such as fire protection.
“I think things are on schedule,” Barbara Carr, the SPCA’s executive director, said Monday. “My hope is shovel in the ground next spring.”
Meanwhile, the SPCA is continuing fundraising efforts with major donors, with approximately $5.5 million raised so far, according to Carr.