City approves 148 Clinton to be commercial property

This lot at the corner of Fairmont Avenue and Clinton Street could have a business coming to it after the city approved its residential district be changed to a commercial district for potential business development.

SALAMANCA — A lot where a home has been for several generations at the corner of Fairmont Avenue and Clinton Street could become the home of a business after approval to change its zoning district by the city.

The lot at 148 Clinton St. was approved by the Common Council at its regular Sept. 25 meeting to change from a single family residential to a neighborhood commercial use district.

A public hearing was held Wednesday by the council in accordance with the city’s zoning law.

“My thought was you have a business literally 40 feet across the street,” said Mayor Michael “Smitty” Smith. The Ned Fenton Insurance agency is at 170 Clinton St. and the Glamour Trap hair salon is at 19 Fairmont Ave.

“If you have Fenton there and the Clinton (Restaurant) a block away, I don’t see how we can tell them no,” he added.

According to Smith, the property owners said they did not plan to put a gas station or smoke shop on the lot.

Following the public hearing, the council authorized the issuance of a Short Environmental Assessment Form for no environmental impact concerning the change to the zoning law.

“At this point, all they’re doing is the zoning law,” Smith said. He said if the owners want to put a business in, approval would again go through the zoning board and city council.

It was noted that both the zoning change and the potential of a business would have to be approved by Cattaraugus County as well.

The council also held a public hearing on the proposed local law which will reduce the rate of the consumption component of the city’s sewer rent from 152% to 137%.

“I don’t think you’re going to have any complaints when you reduce a rate by 15 percent,” said council member Tim Flanigan, R-Ward 2.

IN OTHER BUSINESS, Cattaraugus County legislator Sue Labuhn, D-Salamanca, addressed the council concerning the county’s shared services program for 2020 to get additional funding from New York state.

“Unfortunately, the city wasn’t in a lot of what we call ‘planks,’ but you still get some money from the state,” she said. For 2019, the city received about $300 in reimbursement.

“It is a worthwhile project,” Labuhn said. “Some small towns like Dayton will get $25,000 back in savings. The city of Olean will get $12,000 but the town of Olean will get $163,000 because they shared purchasing a piece of equipment.”

Labuhn encouraged the city to sign up for the shared services program. She said if the city decides not to do anything, it doesn’t cost anything, but there are potential savings if the city does take part.

“A couple of districts didn’t put their name on it (last year), and they did something and we couldn’t put it in (for reimbursement),” she said. “You would get 100 percent back in savings in 2021.”

For 2019, Labuhn said the combined savings for all the county’s municipalities were about $900,000 from the state.

Smith said the city is looking at the different planks that it could be a part of in 2020.

(Contact managing editor Kellen Quigley at