Look for future articles on local village and town plans in this multi-part series.
By Jeff Martin
Approaching the end of his second term in office, Springville Mayor William Krebs sees much that both he and residents can be proud of.
Even residents from nearby Ellicottville, Krebs believes, will like what they see.
“There’s a lot for people in the area to enjoy in Springville,” Krebs said during a recent conversation. “I’m certain people living in Ellicottville will enjoy what Springville has to offer, too.”
While there are no massive, significant changes on the near horizon, Springville expects to solidify its reputation as a sleepy little village with an eye toward the future.
Without question, Krebs said the village’s most significant accomplishment in the last few years was last year’s announcement that the Springville Center for the Arts, with two locations in the village, was awarded a state grant of over $800,000 for improvements to its buildings. Progress continues at the locations, Krebs said, and practicing artists, as well as art lovers, will eventually enjoy new facilities and programs, including class offerings.
“It was huge for us,” he said, adding that another grant of approximately $250,000 was awarded to the village for a 12-part initiative that will enhance the village center by improving landscape, public space and storefront work. Some work, including renovation to the M&T Bank Park at Main and Mechanic streets is underway.
Future projects, dependent upon possible grants the village plans to apply for, include streetscaping improvements. At a recent meeting, Krebs and others’ spoke of “plateau crossing” improvements at Pearl, Mechanic, North Buffalo, Central and Waverly streets.
A “trail town” initiative would link the Pop Warner Trail to the village’s municipal parking lot, which would increase walkability and “encourage tourism and pedestrian traffic in the village,” Krebs said, adding that the village wants to preserve the corridor by offering hiking and bike trails.
The corridor would link Orchard Park and West Valley, he said, a 27-mile stretch that links the city to the Southern Tier.
“The railroad and the Erie/Cattaraugus Rails to Trails (organization) is currently in negotiation,” Krebs said. “It should happen for the greater good of the area.”
Signs for the Western New York Scenic Byway have been popping up through the village as well, Krebs said. The signs are meant to alert citizens and visitors alike that the area is recognized as a vital participant in the agricultural sector, a contributor to all things rural.
“The byway is important to us,” Krebs said.
Down at Scoby Park, where the village used to utilize an existing dam for its power, there are efforts to convert the area into a launching spot for watercraft, including rafts and kayaks. The Cattaraugus Creek is a big draw for people throughout the state, Krebs said.
If nothing else, the Army Corps of Engineers plan to refurbish the existing dam.
Krebs is proud of the work he and village officials have accomplished. As to whether or not he continues to run again for office, Krebs said he’s undecided.
“There are still a lot of projects that need seen through,” he said.