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DUNKIRK – Members of the Dunkirk Local Development Corp. got an update on loan repayments and outstanding debts at their regular meeting Wednesday in City Hall.

It was announced that the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center has paid off a $120,000 loan. Planning Director Steve Neratko said he was not sure whether the repaid loan funds could be recirculated. The agency was recently audited by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which found that some funding provided through the Community Development Block Grant Program was not used appropriately.

Neratko said city officials will await HUD’s ruling on how funds can be used in the future.

Members also were concerned about an outstanding debt of $55,000 owed by Dunkirk Metal Products. Neratko said the firm went out of business and its location was purchased by a new company that does not have ties to the former owners.

Members were asked to consider whether they should contribute to further environmental cleanup at the former Niagara Motors site on Route 60 near the Thruway. The site already has been cleaned to industrial standards. The agency was offered some funding by the state Department of Environmental Conservation to further clean the site. It has already been cleared to a standard for industry, according to Neratko. Further cleanup would bring it to a standard where a commercial or retail business could use it. The development agency would be required to commit up to $75,000 toward the efforts, according to Mayor A.J. Dolce. 

Members decided not to seek further cleanup at this time because there is no buyer or developer interested in the site.

Dolce said reappointments to the board are due in February, and he would like to have indications if board members are still interested in continuing to serve prior to the meeting on Feb. 24.

A committee to start work on the summer festivals was formed. Members will be reviewing the previous festivals and deciding on changes or additions to the schedule.