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Representatives of Ellicottville and Great Valley small businesses have been invited to meet with the state Department of Transportation today to discuss the draft environmental impact statement on proposed improvements to Route 219 between Springville and Salamanca.

The Greater Ellicottville Small Business Alliance said local business owners fear that a freeway or an upgrade of Route 219 that bypasses the two communities will lead to businesses closings, lost jobs and diminished sales, school and property taxes.

The alliance also objects to an estimated $484 million cost of a 28-mile four-lane limited-access freeway.

In a news release announcing the meeting, the group stated that its goal is to find a fourth alternative to the options in the draft statement: the freeway, an upgrade of the existing route and no action.

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