The Springville Village Board Monday endorsed efforts to convert the Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad right of way into a multiuse trail, which would run from Orchard Park to the Town of Ashford.
While the board has supported the conversion of the 1.8-mile section of the 27-mile right of way that runs through the village, Mayor William Krebs said it is time to support the greater scope of the project, particularly the portion that runs from the village to the high-level bridge over Cattaraugus Creek.
“We can’t do anything without the rest of the parcel,” Krebs said. “Springville could be a trailhead. It would draw people to the village.” He added that the scenic byway intersects the former track line, which runs through the village, and would complement it, enhancing the village as a tourist destination.
Krebs noted that the vacant right of way, in its current condition, presents a public safety concern and is an impediment to community development.
The resolution also states that the board has examined documents opposing the conversion and concluded the economic benefits surpass the financial burden to the village. It also states that Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail Inc. and the village would provide planning and financing to construct the trail within the village borders. No dollar figure was specified.
In other matters, Laura Landers of the accounting firm Freed Maxick gave the board high marks after an audit for the fiscal year ending May 31. She said the village’s roughly $1.2 million in unspecified fund balance represents “good financial management.” Net growth in the fund balance last year was $217,401 on a total operating budget of $8 million.
The year ended with revenues $47,000 greater than planned and expenses $149,000 below budget. One of the only concerns, Landers said, was the deficit in the sewer fund. She said that the water fund is on “solid footing” and that the electric fund was yielding good revenue. Krebs said that the sewer fund was not as healthy as it should be and that rate hikes are likely.