Legislators Give Thumbs Up For Dale Drive Project

MAYVILLE — A county road shoulder project in Cassadaga gained legislators’ support at Monday’s Public Facilities Committee meeting in Mayville.

Committee members voted 3-1 to authorize the Department of Public Facilities to proceed with the shoulder expansion on Dale Drive in Cassadaga. The project recently received $588,000 in federal funding. A 20 percent local match, which totals $147,000, is required in order to proceed with construction sometime in 2018.

Chairman John Hemmer, R-Westfield, voted no as he cited concern over where the local match would come from.

“I just felt as though we need to know where it’s coming from before we pass that,” Hemmer said.

County Executive Vince Horrigan said the plan is to include the Dale Drive project within the capital project budget for 2018.

“We have not yet approved that, but that’s where it would be,” he said.

Horrigan said he reached out to the town of Stockton to see if they could provide any financial support for the local share. He said the town would only be able to provide in-kind services, which isn’t eligible since the federal grant requires a cash match. The village of Cassadaga didn’t responded to the county as of Monday.

“If it goes through the (County Legislature), it would come from the capital budget process,” he said.

Last month, county legislators agreed to table the request to proceed with the project. The tabling gave the Planning Board the opportunity to review the project among others they’re examining as part of the annual capital review process.

Between the federal funds committed, which are dispersed by the state Department of Transportation, and proposed safety improvements, Planning Board members scored the project high among other capital proposals.

The Dale Drive project initiated in the early 2000s by Citizens for a Better Cassadaga, a nonprofit civic group. With fluent traffic between Route 60 and Lily Dale and the prevalence of recreational activity, concern began to resonate over the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists on Dale Drive.

Despite support from the community and municipalities, the project was held back due to funding. Just recently, there was a breakthrough as the project was awarded funds under the 2016 Transportation Alternatives Program. The county Department of Public Facilities aided the citizens group with the application.

The proposed project, which is within the existing right-of-way, would shorten the width of travel lanes from 11 feet to 10 feet. By paving the shoulders, the road would be one smooth surface as opposed to its current condition with gravel shoulders.

In other legislative matters, committee members approved to accept $77,310 in federal funds for an environmental assessment for an off-airport obstruction removal project at the Chautauqua County-Dunkirk Airport. The county and state will each provide $4,295 as part of the local share.

County legislators authorized an agreement with the state Department of Transportation for the replacement of the county bridge on Foote Avenue over the Chadakoin River in Jamestown. The project is estimated at $275,000. Eighty percent of the project is covered by federal funds. The county and state will need to provide the remaining $13,750.

The full County Legislature will consider the proposals at next week’s meeting at the county Legislative Chambers in Mayville.