Cattaraugus lawmakers back scenic byway expansion - The Buffalo News

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Cattaraugus lawmakers back scenic byway expansion

LITTLE VALLEY – The Cattaraugus County Legislature’s Development and Agriculture Committee is supporting a plan to expand the Western New York Southtowns Scenic Byway Trail south from Springville.

The action puts a resolution on the agenda for the Legislature’s meeting Wednesday.

The Scenic Byway Trail committee, led by Bob Lennartz, has been developing the trail since 2002 and it now covers about 70 miles of roadway from Orchard Park to Springville. Next it would extend from Springville, down Route 219 to the Village of Ellicottville.

Both the village and town of Ellicottville and the town of Ashford have given their support to the project. The county’s support would help in moving the project forward.

The trail currently incorporates 14 interpretive signs explaining the historical significance of points along the trail. The trail, one of 26 recognized by the state Department of Transportation as scenic byways, covers Orchard Park, Aurora, Boston, Colden, Concord, East Aurora and Springville. For a municipality to be included, a resolution of support must be passed by both the municipal and county governments. Inclusion also hinges on themes of scenic, historic, cultural and architectural value.

Members of the committee also voted to approve support for the continuation of the Route 219 expansion project that has made it as far as Springville.

Crystal Abers, director of the county Economic Development, Planning and Tourism Department, said that major business partners in the county, such as Dresser Rand, have expressed the need to continue the highway through Cattaraugus County, making a better north-south route for shipping.

“If one of the largest employers in the county is asking for this expansion, we need to support it,” said committee member Patrick J. Murphy, R-Cattaraugus.

The support holds no financial obligation for the county.

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