MAYVILLE – Nine agencies will receive funding for special projects that enhance lakes and streams in Chautauqua County. The applications were reviewed and approved by members of the Planning and Economic Development Committee during their monthly meeting at the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.
There were 19 applications received for money from the Chautauqua County’s Occupancy Tax Program. The distributions are made possible through taxes collected from hotels, motels and other places that rent rooms and vacation housing.
The Cassadaga Lakes Green Infrastructure Program was the highest ranked of the applicants and will receive $20,000.
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute, City of Jamestown and Chadakoin Riverwalk will share $39,990 for a combined conservation project. A creek restoration project in DeWittville will receive $25,625 and the Prendergast Creek Streambank Restoration Project will get $29,250.
The Dutch Hollow Creek Streambank Stabilization Project in Ellery will be getting $21,750. The village of Silver Creek will receive $40,000 for streambank improvements along Walnut Creek. A forest land project in the county will also be funded at $5,200. The Greystone Nature Preserve will receive $9,750 and the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy’s request for $5,590 was approved for improvements on Lakeside Drive.
“It is very impressive that we got 19 applications this year and all appear to be of very good quality,” said Pierre Chagnon, R-Bemus Point, committee member. Applications are ranked based on their benefit to the environment, public education and outreach.
Several other projects that promote tourism in the county were presented to the committee members. About $41,000 through a second stream of occupancy tax money, will be distributed based on the applications. Among the tourism project applicants was a proposal for $2,000 towards a feasibility study for the Big Foot Expo and Museum project.
County Legislator Keith Ahlstrom, D- Dunkirk, said he was opposed to funding the Big Foot project. The committee members were provided with background on each application.
Chairman George Borrello, R-Sunset Bay, offered a resolution to eliminate the funding for the Big Foot project when the proposal goes before the county executive. All members of the committee agreed.
The committee members also approved an agreement for the town of Cherry Creek for a parking area for vehicles and horse trailers.
The parking lot is located near the equestrian trail in the county. Committee members were told that more than 4,300 horses and many active riding clubs are located in the county. The cost for constructing the lot is $13,140. It will be located on Route 83 on town-owned land.