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Projects Provide Sense Of Progress To County Residents

All of a sudden, development is booming in Chautauqua County.

The former Silver Creek Elementary School and the former Fluvanna Elementary School in Greenhurst are poised to become apartments. The former Fairbank Farms and Castelli Cheese building in Blockville may soon be a cheese-making facility again after its purchase in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. There are discussions of a new hotel in North Harmony, construction is underway on The Lodge, owned by the Webb Family, in Mayville. Solar farms are popping up in Ashville.

These are all good developments — vacant buildings finding new life, a manufacturer springing back to life, private property owners finding a new use for their land and developers seeing enough promise in the county’s post-COVID economic rebound to think more hotels and condos are needed. The projects also provide employment for hundreds of contractors and trades workers. The Vittoria Dairy Inc. project in Blockville brings even more ancillary benefits to area farmers who will see a restored purchaser for their milk only a year after some dairy farmers found themselves dumping excess milk down the drain.

Economic news has been pretty depressing for the past year, and projects like these all have a role to play in bringing the county back from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is also an intangible benefit to development projects — they provide a sense of excitement and progress to county residents. That’s no small thing for an area that finds itself hammered time and again with bad economic news.

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