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Great Valley Town Board Supportive of Area Recreational Trail Project

By Mary Fox

Great Valley Town Supervisor Dan Brown opened the meeting of the Great Valley Town Board at 7:08 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 10, with the pledge to the flag.

Brown reported that the new salt building is finished except for the concrete floor. The 60-foot by 12-foot building took five days to build. Brown pointed out that it was not built with borrowed monies or money from the budget but with money saved from other projects.

Brown said that property maintenance is a problem in Great Valley. The present enforcement policy needs to be stronger. A new procedure to approach people needs to be developed. Code Officer Rob Germain will set up a time to meet with the town’s attorney, Ron Ploetz, to discuss the problem.

The application of Deborah Maroney to serve on the Great Valley Planning Board was accepted. Maroney is a planning specialist who worked with the Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development, Planning and Tourism.

Yvonne Darts, planning board chairperson, reported that the Cory Brown Gravel Pit is being purchased by Fred Perkins. The planning board will go over the application and their plans at the Sept. 12 Great Valley Planning Board meeting. The tractor-trailer training will be moved behind the buildings and the DOT has approved a new access road from Route 219.

Under New Business, Brown expressed that “we need to be proactive in addressing future zoning laws regarding gravel pits and plan now for reclaiming the Great Valley gravel pits for recreational and housing development. We can have a plan set for lots and roads going around it.”

Brown proposed the board take a field trip to see what a reclaimed gravel pit can do for Great Valley in the future.

“We should be interested in what other towns have done with reclaiming mining holes and what possibilities there are for Great Valley,” said Brown. “If you really want to control a gravel pit, have a plan for how it will look when it’s done. It’s gonna happen whether we are prepared for it or not. Let the planning and zoning boards work on it. It can include residents and board members. “

Also under New Business, Ken Hinman of the Ellicottville Town Board informed the board that a committee formed in Ellicottville is looking into building an area recreational trail leading around the towns of Ellicottville and Great Valley.  Hinman said no specific route has been determined yet.

“It is coming your way,” Hinman said. “Great Valley is the key to the success of this path. We will be asking someone from here (Great Valley) to be on the committee.”

Hinman pointed out that he was merely informing the board at this point, but that the project is underway.

“The possibility has become a reality,” Hinman said. “Funding is being sought and we would like to work with you in getting grants and sponsors.”

Because the Ellicottville and Great Valley have no safe, “off-road,” traffic-free routes for recreational activities like biking, jogging and rollerblading , the concept of a recreational trail has recently garnered positive attention as a way to provide another recreational outlet for area residents and tourists coming to our region.

Brown responded positively and stated, “In a survey taken for our Comprehensive Zoning Plan, people wanted recreational trails, so we can be right on board with this too.”

Realtors agree that recreational trails enhance can property values, especially in resort communities.

According to Hinman, two of the most important aspects of this project are working respectfully with landowners and identifying sources of funding, such as grants and fundraising.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m. The next board meeting is scheduled for Oct. 8.

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