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Committee makes public its visions for multi-use sports facility project

An outdoor rink, walking trail, volleyball court, playground, picnic area and building housing concessions and bathrooms are envisioned during the initial phase of a park project announced recently by the Chautauqua Multi-Use Sports Facility Organizing Committee.

Don Horton, committee president, said 16 potential users for such a project gave been identified but the organization is still seeking out a financial partner.

However, the committee's board of directors has discovered that grants are available through the state Parks Department and will submit an application in 2010 for as much as $600,000.

The rink as outlined in Phase One would be an unrefrigerated rink. Other facets include disc golf and bocce ball. The on-site building also would house rentals and storage.

Currently, the group is looking for potential park sites in northern Chautauqua County. Horton said such a site would have to be 18 to 30 acres and capable of being expanded beyond the initial phase of the project.

The committee also is looking for land near Exit 59 of the Thruway.

Letters of support for the project have been received from the Northern Chautauqua Soccer Association; Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards; Assemblyman William L. Parment, D-North Harmony; Dunkirk School Superintendent Gary Cerne; State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean; Jody Briggs, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club; Roberta Keller, executive director of Chautauqua Opportunities; Silver Creek School Superintendent David O'Rourke; Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo; and Dennis Hefner, president of Fredonia State College.

The board of directors meets the second Wednesday of each month. For more information, visit or call Horton at 640-7457.

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