LITTLE VALLEY – A measure to pay engineering and architectural services for the farmers’ market proposed for the Cattaraugus County Building campus in Olean was defeated last week.
The project is the brainchild of District 10 Legislator James Snyder Sr., and the resolution would have paid $7,000 to Wylier & Associates of Sanborn.
Snyder called the payment “the ethical thing to do” in light of the firm’s “service to move this project closer to being shovel-ready.”
District 4 Legislator William Sprague argued that there were many variables of the project that should be discussed. He also said Snyder brought his proposal to the Legislature without having all his facts.
“We should take this back to the committees and discuss it more so we all know what we are voting on,” he said. “We have to make sure we have the money for projects before we can do them. This wasn’t discussed at committee as it should have been.”
While the majority of votes would have sent the resolution back to committee for further discussion, neither side was able to achieve the required 11 votes, with two legislators absent from the proceedings.
Snyder, who called the attempt to refer the resolution back to committee an attenpt to “bog down the process,” argued that the resolution is not a vote on the project itself, but paying the firm for architectural work that was done.
“Why do you want to slow this down and send it back to committee? Did I do things out of order? Yes,” Snyder said.
“If I upset anybody, I apologize. I have talked to many people about this, and there is a need. We have a location. I would hope that all of you that voted to send it back to committee will think about what this can offer to your constituents. I would like to think that this project is one that you could take to Salamanca or Cattaraugus and build a building,” Snyder said.
“You see, we all too often have these shovel-ready projects that would be beneficial for the area, and they are tied up in the process and are never done,” he added. “This is not about the project as a whole, it is about paying a person for the job they have done. You will have your chance to vote on the project as a whole at a later time.”
Despite the setback, Snyder vowed that the project would move forward.
Not all his colleagues are sure it is a good thing, however.
“This project may be shovel-ready, but I am not sure it is right for the county,” District 9 Legislator Susan Labuhn said.
The project is a candidate under the current round of the funding application.