By Eva Potter
In another move to continue the momentum of building the Ellicottville-Great Valley (EVGV) Trail, the EVGV Trail committee has submitted a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund the building of the trail.
The 2016 TIGER grant program will focus on capital projects that generate economic development and improve access to reliable, safe and affordable transportation for communities, both urban and rural. The EVGV Trail will create a connecting network between businesses, the local schools, shopping, restaurants and more, in addition to providing recreational opportunities, via a safe, traffic-free trail. The committee chose to apply for 100 percent of the project, $1.8 million, as suggested by New York State Department of Transportation (DOT).
In addition, a new round of New York State DOT funding via the (Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) will be available this year. The first submitted TAP application did not result in funding, but the trail committee remains hopeful and will apply in this next round.
During the May 2 meeting of the EVGV Trail, Matt McAndrew, supervisor of the Town of Ellicottville, officially joined the committee. The possibility of widening County Road 17 (Sugartown Road) to add bike lanes was also discussed. McAndrew said if funding could be found, then it may be possible to work with the county to accomplish this road work.
To continue to market the trail and raise awareness about the future EVGV Trail, the committee discussed plans to participate in the new Outdoor Expo in Ellicottville the weekend of June 3. A portion of the event will take place at the pond on Route 219 near Tim Hortons, which is very close to the EVGV Trail trailhead. This would create a wonderful opportunity to disseminate educational information to Expo participants, locals and other visitors.
After a conversation with Terry Fuller at Ellicottville BOCES, Trail committee member Ken Hinman reported that BOCES will be able to saw the materials needed to build the trailhead at the Town Center location for a donation. Hinman has been pricing the material for the trailhead, which ranges between $1,800 and $2,000. The town will also be looking into moving the dumpster located at the Town Center for better placement.
The next meeting of the EVGV Trail committee is scheduled for June 6 at 3:30 p.m.