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NY State to "reevaluate" plan to develop Knox Farm

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Posted at 4:43 PM, Sep 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-12 16:43:44-04

Changes may not be coming to Knox Park after all.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) announced Monday it would "reassess and reevaluate the needs" of the park after receiving only one proposal for development.

State Parks issued a Request for Proposal in June to develop and enhance the park's stable barns.

The office only received one bid, It came from Western New York native Julie Ceolek who proposed creating a small-scale brewery and farmers market where all the ingredients and items are grown at Knox Farm State Park.

Neither the Request for Proposals nor Ceolek's specific bid sat well with some East Aurora residents. They started a petition on Change.org called “Save Knox Farm State Park from Private Industrialization.” It says they are "concerned of the stability of this ‘fad’ of craft breweries." They worry the business could fail.

It is unclear whether the state's decision to reassess the plan is related to the petition.

In a statement, State Parks said it "remains interested in revitalizing the historic barns and encouraging equestrian or farm-based activities at Knox Farm State Park," and reiterated that none of the park's structures or land would be sold.

The office says it will review and vet future proposals after the revaluation process, and all proposals would have to guarantee to properly maintain the integrity of the park and provide "enough" of a financial benefit to New York State taxpayers.