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Trail Talk: First Length of EVGV Trail Possible in Village

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By Jennie Acklin

Village of Ellicottville Mayor John Burrell presented an idea to the EVGV Trail board at its Monday, June 6 meeting, describing a “partnership” between the Village, Sprague Development and Niagara Building. The idea would involve exchanging what Burrell called “sidewalks to nowhere” for a section of the EVGV Trail along Parkside Drive to the Town Center.

Burrell, who is a long-time member of EVGV Trail committee, explained that each developer is building a housing development on opposite sides of Fillmore Drive. As part of their building permits, both are required to construct sidewalks. Parts of the required sidewalks already have been completed along Fillmore, but Burrell is suggesting that the funds earmarked for some of the rest of the sidewalks be diverted to a section of trail.

The current plan calls for Sprague to construct another sidewalk along Parkside Drive opposite the Village Park between Fillmore and Mechanic. Niagara’s permit requires the company to extend its side of the Fillmore sidewalk to Parkside. Burrell proposes to exchange both of those remaining sidewalks with a sidewalk on the other side of Parkside, directly adjacent to the Park, making that the first physical length of the EVGV trail. The section of road is on the planned trail route from the trailhead at Nannen Arboretum to Mechanic St.

Burrell described building an 8-foot wide concrete sidewalk with a curb. The existing fence alongside the park ballfields would be moved and all necessary Village and Planning Board approvals would be obtained. Burrell said he has support from the Village board and the Village planning board.  Both developers are interested in working with the trail board. However, firm cost estimates must be calculated to determine if there is enough money in their budgets to complete the work. Burrell said he hopes other interested “partners” or donors will consider joining efforts to build this first section of the EVGV Trail.

Burrell plans to report on this project at the next Village board meeting, scheduled for Monday, June 13 at 6 p.m.

The EVGV trail board thanked Burrell for his efforts and agreed to continue the discussion.

In other business, board member Mark Alianello reported that there has been progress on building the trailhead structure which will mirror the iconic Nannen Arboretum entrance next to it at the Town Center. BOCES instructor Terry Fuller is supervising a group of students which is sawing the timbers to be used in the construction of the structure.  The plan is for construction to begin in September when school resumes, with completion expected in the fall of 2016.

Alianello also reported that wetlands scientist Eric Cruller will be re-surveying the proposed route of the trail from the Town Center to Route 219 after Alianello had several positive discussions about trail easements with land owners. Once the revised survey has been submitted, Alianello hopes to present the plan to the Town planning board, and then outline a construction calendar.

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