The Ellicottville-Great Valley Trail Committee met Monday, Dec. 7 and got some frustrating news. The committee’s application for a $1.8 million grant through the New York State DOT’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program was rejected.
The grant, which was submitted in early June, would have funded the section of trail from Ellicottville Central School to the Town Center.
Not to be deterred, however, the committee is aggressively working to break ground on the first leg of the trail in the spring, which will go from the Town Center/Nannen Arboretum east to Rt. 219 near the Tim Horton’s restaurant.
Committee member and engineer Mark Alianello reported that, because the route passes through wetlands, a Corps of Engineers permit must be obtained. He is meeting with the committee’s wetlands consultant this week to walk the length of that portion of the trail, determine a precise route and then prepare the permit application.
In addition, a final survey must be prepared and letters of commitment from adjacent property owners for trail easements must be requested.
Committee chair Ken Hinman reported that he has briefed Matt McAndrew on trail efforts to date and plans for the future. McAndrew will be sworn in as the Town of Ellicottville’s newly elected Supervisor in January.
Fundraising for the trail remains the top priority for the committee.
The trail’s Marketing Director, Joe Wright, reports that sales of the 2016 Holiday Valley Promotional Booklet have been brisk, and should pick up once the ski season gets into full swing. The booklet, which costs $25, contains coupons and deals on golfing, Sky-High Adventure Park, meals at John Harvard’s restaurant and more, valued at $925. All proceeds from the sale of the booklet go to the EVGV Trail.
While the committee researches other grant opportunities, it is also preparing solid cost estimates for the trailhead at the Town Center and the first leg of the trail in preparation for Wright’s efforts to seek substantial funds from potential donors.
Wright also is preparing a 2016 marketing plan for the trail.
The next meeting of the trail committee is scheduled for Jan. 4.