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Lewis Planning Board approves general store, gas canopy, met towers

LOWVILLE – The Lewis County Planning Board on Thursday approved several projects: a proposed West Martinsburg general store, gasoline pumps at the Lowville Tops Market and a pair of additional meteorological towers on Tug Hill.

Board members gave approval for a request from Kim Gracey to open a general store and self-serve coffee shop at 4815 West Martinsburg Road in the town of Martinsburg.

The site – at West Martinsburg and West roads – was once the home of Foote’s Grocery Store and was operated for 45 years by the late Warren and Marie Foote. However, it hasn’t been used as a store in several decades, instead serving as apartments.

Plans call for installation of a larger sign on the West Martinsburg Road side for the “West Martinsburg General Store” and a couple smaller signs with product identifiers.

The board also signed off on an application from Tops to construct a fuel canopy, kiosk and underground storage at 7395 Turin Road in Lowville.

County planner Casandra M. Buell said the company plans to add the fueling station next spring in a section of the Lowville Plaza parking lot between the Tops store and Community Bank. A section of vegetation is planned to help separate the pumps from the free-standing bank building, she said.

Board member and county Highway Superintendent David L. Becker said he had been in contact with Tops officials earlier in the day to see if the planned pumping station might be used by county, school, town, village and state Department of Transportation vehicles. That could be an alternative to updating the county fueling station across East Road from the county highway garage, Mr. Becker said, noting the latter will likely prove to be an expensive proposition.

Mr. Becker said he found out that local municipalities may be able to purchase fuel at the proposed Tops fuel canopy a little cheaper than the county can buy gasoline at the state rate. However, he was a bit concerned that large vehicles like snowplows and school buses may not be able to easily enter and exit the station, as proposed.

The county Planning Board additionally signed off on the proposed erection of two temporary, 196.85-foot-tall meteorological towers at 8759 River Road in the town of Harrisburg and 8822 Whitesville Road in the town of Pinckney. Atlantic Wind LLC requested the two additional towers as part of the planning process for its proposed Deer River Wind Farm.

All four projects still require approval from their respective town or village planning boards before they may commence.