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Archive for the ‘Planning, Zoning, Historic Preservation, Code Enforcement’ Category

Follow Springville’s Lead – Time for South Towns to Support Rail Trail

In Board of Trustees, Dept of Public Works, Planning, Zoning, Historic Preservation, Code Enforcement on December 1, 2016 at 1:25 pm

This past week a Buffalo News Editorial supported the development of B&P rail corridor into a multiuse trail.  The Editorial referred to the opening of the Springville section — the 1.8 mile Springville Pop Warner Rail Trail — as the proof that a rail trail is the proper use of the “abandoned” 27 mile rail line that runs from Orchard Park to the Town of Ashford.

Springville opened its trail because it had community financial support, village government support, and a right-of-entry agreement with the B&P.  Currently the B&P is negotiating a “railBanking” agreement with Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail, a non-profit organization devoted to the preservation and reuse of the 27 mile corridor.  Negotiations are moving ahead, with both parties committed to executing a contract.

With these developments, it is time for the Town of Concord, the Town of Colden, the Town of Aurora, the Town of Orchard Park and the Village of Orchard Park to move forward with plans of developing a multiuse trail.

It takes time to plan the design and use regulations of a proposed trail.  It takes time to secure the funding for construction, and to amend local code for maintenance and enforcement.  Public input meetings are crucial.  On site visits to mitigate concerns of safety and invasion of privacy are necessary.  So beginning the process now would be a prudent step in the right direction.

Springville formed committees to investigate the feasibility of a rail trail.  Its trustee acted on a resolution to support the railbanking process.  It formed the Springville Rail Trail Steering Committee to make recommendations to the Board of Trustees and collaborate with ECRT.  Public events were held to gain information on how the public would use the trail and what designs might work the best. All this planning happened years before the right-of-entry contract was finally signed and financing and construction could begin.

Springville began the trail initiative in 2009 and the trail opened in 2016 — that’s 7 years — and we beat the average length of time for trail development which is about 15 years.

Southtowns communities should begin their planning now.  It is the right thing to do.  The preservation and reuse of the corridor for recreational use will enhance their own communities as well as all of Erie County.  Careful and open planning of this worthy 21st century project will mitigate fears of change.

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Rails to Trails Resolution

In Board of Trustees, Planning, Zoning, Historic Preservation, Code Enforcement, Public Safety on November 28, 2009 at 12:58 pm

The rails have been salvaged by the railroad and there is renewed interest in rail right-of-way through Springville.  Currently the right-of-way is still owned by the railroad, but  NYS is considering landbanking the 27 mile right of way.  Below is the resolution passed by The Village of Springville Board of Trustees earlier this year.  After lengthy discussion and research, Springville Trustees believe that the best course of action is to convert this abandoned transportation right of way to a recreational green space to enhance the quality of life and increase commerce in Springville.  We look forward to participating in the planning process to ensure the transformation benfits  the residents of Springville.

Village of Springville, NY

Resolution in Support of the Conversion of the Buffalo-Pittsburg Railway

to a Pedestrian Trail

 

WHEREAS, a goal of the Village of Springville is to support existing businesses and encourage positive economic revitalization and expansion, and

WHEREAS, a goal of the Village of Springville is to encourage beneficial employment opportunities and residential growth, and

WHEREAS, a goal of the Village of Springville is to provide healthy activities for youth and positive recreational opportunities for all age groups, and

WHEREAS, a goal of the Village of Springville is to encourage and support cultural opportunities and civic involvement, and

WHEREAS, a goal of the Village of Springville is to preserve and enhance its historic characteristics, and

WHEREAS, a goal of the Village of Springville is to expand opportunities for visitors through tourism, and

WHEREAS, a goal of the Village of Springville is promote its quality education and health care opportunities to its residents and businesses, and

WHEREAS, a goal of the Village of Springville is to link community assets to regional skiing, fishing, and other recreational opportunities in Erie and Cattaraugus counties, and

WHEREAS, the West End Business District is an Historic Preservation District through which the Buffalo-Pittsburg Railway right-of-way passes, and

WHEREAS, the conversion of the Buffalo-Pittsburg Railway right-of-way to a pedestrian trail in Springville will promote the growth of regional tourism by making Springville a tourist destination point as a trailhead along the pedestrian trail, and

WHEREAS, the conversion of the Buffalo-Pittsburg Railway right-of-way to a pedestrian trail in Springville will connect Village tourists to other points of recreation including parks, schools, and historic places within and outside the Village limits, and

WHEREAS, the conversion of the Buffalo-Pittsburg Railway right-of-way to a pedestrian trail in Springville will transform an abandoned industrial transportation corridor to a landscaped, patrolled recreational green space within the Village, and

WHEREAS, the Village of Springville Erie-Cattaraugus Rails to Trails Investigating Committee, after examination of documents supporting and opposing the conversion of the Buffalo-Pittsburg Railway right-of-way to a pedestrian trail in Springville, concluded that the economic benefits of the conversion within the Village surpass the financial burden to the Village, and

WHEREAS, the large number of road crossings and the available access through commercial and residential properties within the Village of Springville allow for easy access to the right-of-way and mitigate public safety risk along the proposed trail, and

WHEREAS, New York State Department of Parks and Recreation is considering a proposal to land bank and take title to the 27 mile Buffalo-Pittsburg Railway right of way from Orchard Park to West Valley, and

WHEREAS, Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail Inc. with New York State will provide the planning and financing to construct the trail within the Village of Springville and include a review process with the Village of Springville Board of Trustees, the Village of Springville Planning Board, and the Village of Springville Historic Preservation Commission, and

WHEREAS, Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail Inc. will communicate with owners of properties within the Village of Springville contiguous to the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railway right-of-way and mitigate privacy, safety, and nuisance problems, and

WHEREAS, Erie-Cattaraugus Rail Trail Inc. will provide for maintenance and patrol during the operation of the trail within the Village of Springville, and

WHEREAS, Erie County and New York State will cooperatively establish and maintain safe county road and state highway cross walks on the trail within the Village of Springville, and

WHEREAS, recreational motor vehicles and snowmobiles may be prohibited from operation or otherwise restricted on the trail within the Village of Springville as approved by the Village of Springville Board of Trustees, and

NOW BE IT RESOLVED:  The Village of Springville Board of Trustees supports the Village’s participation in the conversion of the Buffalo-Pittsburg Railway to a pedestrian trail.

Adopted this _________day of ___________ 2009 by:

The Village of Springville Board of Trustees.

___________________________________              ____________

William J.  Krebs, Mayor                                              Date

NY Reorganization and Citizen Enpowerment Act

In Board of Trustees, Planning, Zoning, Historic Preservation, Code Enforcement on November 28, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Village of Springville Statement Regarding

N.Y. Government Reorganization and Citizen Enpowerment Act,

signed by Gov Paterson on June 24, 2009

and effective March 21, 2010.

The act repeals Village Law 19 which outlines the procedures whereby a Village may be dissolved and replaces it with a new process and new criteria for referendum.  This NY State Law had wide support in Albany as reform measure to encourage reduction in government services and increase fiscal accountability.

We are informing the Town of this tonight because the popular belief that abolishing a Village will save taxpayer money is not universally applicable.  The Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment act seems to imply that abolishing Village government will put money in the taxpayers  pocket.  The act empowers Village residents, as Village Law 19 did, the right to initiate Village dissolution.  It does not empower a town to refuse to accept the village area or residents into the town, since Village residents are residents of a Town and pay town taxes.

To become better knowledgeable about how this new law might affect Springville, the Village is the process of listing the services and the cost of the services  provided to the residents of Springville.

An initial consideration of the issue of taxpayer savings resulting from the dissolution of the Village of Springville and consolidation with the Town of Concord shows little promise of true savings.

In short, the Village has an $8,000,000 budget.  This includes a $2.5 million general fund supported by taxes and revenue sharing and fees, and about $5.5 million in service supported by fees alone.

The total Town of Concord budget with all its special districts is about $3.5 million.  If Springville were to be abolished, the Town budget would have to triple in order to continue the level of service, and most of this increase would be by adding special districts to the Town such as sewer, water, fire etc.  The biggest hurdle is our municipal electric franchise we operate, which we have been informed is nontransferable.

We have cooperated with the Town and County in many money saving regional initiatives involving shared services and intermunicipal contracts.  We will continue to investigate ways to deliver services efficiently to the residents of Springville.

Building Code Violations

In Planning, Zoning, Historic Preservation, Code Enforcement on April 15, 2009 at 3:58 am

At tonight’s meeting, the Historic Preservation Commission voiced its concern about code violations in our Historic Districts. The frustration over distressed properties led to a discussion of what more the Village can do let property owners know that their buildings are in violation of code and must be repaired. The Village Code Enforcement Officer is working on a new process of tracking the violations through the courts. The Village prosecutor will work with a Village clerk and Code Enforcement Officer to track the code violations and inform the various Village Boards of the violations, fines, and court dispostions. This change in Village operations is the latest improvement in the area of Code Enforcement. Distressed properties are burdens in every municipalities. Springville continues to pursue these problems in an orderly and fair manner.