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Mort Backus and Sons to expand in spring

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LISBON — Mort Backus & Sons car dealership on Route 68 has been given preliminary approval by the town Planning Board to move ahead with an expansion that will see 5,000 square feet added to the building.

Michael M. Backus, general manager, said the addition is intended to “treat the customer the way they want to be treated.”

Mr. Backus presented the Planning Board with designs for the project Monday.

Construction of the addition is scheduled to begin in the spring, and the dealership is still looking for a contractor to carry out the work.

“We’re 95 percent sure who we’re going to hire,” Mr. Backus said.

The addition will “give us additional parts room, two handicapped accessible bathrooms, one employee bathroom and office space,” Mr. Backus said.

Additional showroom space and two drive-through service lanes will also be opened up with the expansion.

“The drive-through is a big thing these days,” Planning Board member Rhonda L. Roethel said, noting she has seen them at other dealerships.

Mr. Backus said the idea is to make the dealership look similar to other Chevrolet dealers.

“They want to make it identical,” he said. “We’re very excited about it.”

Mr. Backus also said there will be a change to the lighting in the parking lot, the details of which are yet to be worked out.

“We want to be a good neighbor,” he said.

Planning Board Chairman Steven Wallace said, “I don’t see any problems.”

The board unanimously approved the project and sent it to the St. Lawrence County Planning Office for final review.

Mr. Wallace said he doesn’t foresee any problems with the county’s review and expects construction to go ahead as planned.

The project will see the footprint of the dealership expanded to just over 20,000 square feet.

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