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Proposals from two villages to link trails and open space to future development projects have been selected for design by a professional rural land-use consultant.

The villages of Little Valley and Franklinville were sent letters early last week stating their proposals will be included in the initiative for funding of $3,000, said Cattaraugus County's chief planner Terry Martin.

They were chosen by the Cattaraugus County Legislature's Development and Agriculture Committee.

Martin told the county Planning Board, meeting Thursday night in Little Valley, that officials from the county and the villages must meet to work out the final scope for the projects.

In an early December meeting the Development and Agriculture Committee, headed by Legislator Patrick J. McCrea, selected the Franklinville and Little Valley proposals. A more complicated and costly application from the Town of Allegany was rejected. That proposal, said Martin, would have been too costly and involved the Wal-Mart retail mall complex.

The Village of Little Valley would like to build an industrial park on a 6.25-acre Main Street parcel where the county's vacant Department of Public Works barn stands. The idea hinges on obtaining the property from the county at no cost, Trustee Kevin R. Mosher said Friday.

Martin said when consultant Randall Arendt completes the design of the project it will link a 12-mile recreation trail and a six-acre village park with the downtown area and include conservation easements to promote open space.

He said an extra $5,000 in funding from leftover Circuit Rider program money will be devoted to the design.

In Franklinville, a 60-acre Mount Pleasant site will be the subject of a residential subdivision plan that will create trails linking the area to Case Lake and forested open space nearby.

That property, once owned by the Franklinville Local Development Corp. and targeted for industrial development, was turned over to the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency but never was developed.

At a December meeting, the Cattaraugus County IDA agreed to return the property to the village, but the transfer has not yet taken place.

Village officials hope to use the project as the first part of a future linear park system in the Ischua Valley watershed and spur recreational interest in the area.

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