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Chautauqua County cuts funding for Bigfoot Center project

MAYVILLE – Funding for the proposed Bigfoot Center at Dewittville was removed from the contingency account for tourism activities during the meeting of the Chautauqua County Legislature on Wednesday.

The $1 million Bigfoot Center is proposed by sponsors of the annual Bigfoot Expo in Dewittville – a gathering of hopefuls seeking evidence of the legendary sasquatch.

The request had been for $10,000 and the funding committee recommended $5,400 – contingent on proof that the project is viable. The request also was approved by the Planning and Economic Development Committee but was scratched by the Audit and Control Committee. The resolution was amended, and the group was left out of the current cycle for funding.

However, the Lucy Town Half Marathon and 5K race in Jamestown received $8,060 in the resolution, and two other bicycle tours, the Chautauqua Gran Fondo Cycling Tour and the Chadwick Bay Bike Run, received $6,680 and $3,600, respectively.

The Legislature also accepted the following funding:

• $24,981 from the U.S. Department of Transportation for hazardous materials emergency preparedness training.

• $94,000 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for a regional partnership project that trains responders to work with hazardous materials.

• A Homeland Security grant of $14,500 to the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office for bomb detection equipment.

The Legislature approved an additional $15,000 in funding for dredging projects in Dunkirk and Sunset Bay. The City of Dunkirk and Town of Hanover approved a shared dredging project for their small boat harbors. Funds were provided through State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean.

In other matters, legislators were updated on the Chautauqua County Fair, which opens at the fairgrounds in Dunkirk on Monday and continues through the following Sunday.

County Executive Vincent Horrigan also presented commendations to first responders for their actions during the flood earlier this month. He also showed a video of a rescue at Slippery Rock Creek, Brocton, where a 27-year-old woman fell into the creek while taking pictures.

James Tytka Jr., chief of Silver Creek Fire Department, lowered ropes and a harness to the woman, who was then raised up a steep cliff to safety. Emergency responders from the Brocton Fire Department brought her to a hospital for treatment of hypothermia. Brocton, Portland and Silver Creek departments were recognized for their efforts in the rescue, as were deputies from the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office.