Weekly Feature

2018-01-11 / Local News

Scenic Byway, Railway Historical Society get county funding

Legislator John Mills recently announced that the County Legislature has approved his requests to allocate funding for the WNY Southtowns Scenic Byway and the WNY Railway Historical Society in the 2018 budget.

“The WNY Southtowns Scenic Byway and the WNY Railway Historical Society have done so much to promote local tourism and truly care about preserving our history and celebrating our future,” Mills said. “I am proud to partner with them to support their continued efforts to bring visitors to our region and educate everyone on our rich history.”

The WNYSSB will receive $3,000 next year. The organization received funding in 2017 for a new informational sign in the Village of Springville, which was recently installed and dedicated. It can be found at the Springville Rail Trail Head on West Main Street.

“The WNY Southtowns Scenic Byway wishes to thank Erie County Legislature Chairman John Mills and Erie County for this latest show of financial support,” said Bob Lennartz, president of the WNYSSB, who noted that Mills and the county have supported the byway since its inception.

Lennartz said the funds will be used toward ongoing projects as the organization works to promote tourism in the Southtowns.

The WNY Railway Historical Society will receive $5,000 to support its efforts to preserve railway heritage.

“The Orchard Park Depot Committee of the Western New York Railway Historical Society wishes to thank Erie County Legislature Chairman John Mills for his assistance in obtaining funding for the ongoing restoration of the Orchard Park Train Depot,” said Robert Snyder, chairman of the depot.

“The funding will be used in the society’s planned reconstruction of the depot’s trackside platform, particularly its structurally compromised support columns,” Snyder said. “The society has been working on the depot for almost 35 years and has put both thousands of dollars and thousands of volunteer labor hours in its efforts to save and restore the depot.”

Snyder added that in 2007, the depot and its surrounding grounds were placed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Later, it became a stop on the Southtowns Scenic Byway, and soon, will serve as a trail head for the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail.

With all of this activity, the society wants to make the depot site a safe and beautiful destination.

The additional funding was added into the 2018 budget while also decreasing the property tax rate for the fourth consecutive year, legislators said.

For information or assistance, call Mills’ Legislative Office at 858-8850 or email john.mills@erie.gov.

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