LITTLE VALLEY – A plan to extend the Southtowns Scenic Byway Trail into Cattaraugus County has remained dormant on the agendas of two committees of the County Legislature.
The current 71-mile loop would encapsulate the central part of Cattaraugus County, using the Route 219 corridor as a major pathway. That plan has been met with opposition since it was presented to the Legislature in March.
Since April, the extension of the trail has been tabled in the County Legislature’s Finance and Economic Development and Agriculture committees.
Two County legislators have been vocal in preventing the trail from being included along Route 219 through the county: District 6 Legislator, Dan Hale (R-Portville) and District 4 lawmaker, William Sprague (D-Yorkshire). Both of them have cited the moratorium language in the plan that would prevent new billboards from being constructed along the route. New information has also been interpreted to prevent billboards under maintenance from being re-established in the same location. Both men work in businesses that utilize promotional material, such as billboards.
The resolution, because of lack of support, remains on the table in both committees. The issue has been revisited after Bob Lennartz, the organizer of the trail, emailed members of the committees to find out what they would need to entertain another presentation to move the support.
The plan had been met with support from the entire planned route, with the exception of the Town of Great Valley, which voted the project down in April. The planned route, with the exception of the Town of Ashford, already has a moratorium on billboard construction with similar language as the Byways bill, to include Great Valley.
If the resolution of support is not taken up by the end of this year, it dies in committee and would need to be brought up at the beginning of the process again in the next legislative year, according to County Attorney, Tom Brady.