WESTFIELD - The public is invited to attend an informational and public input session that will focus on evaluating the feasibility of a potential multi-use trail connecting Lake Erie at Barcelona Harbor to Chautauqua Lake at the Chautauqua Institution. The meeting will be held Thursday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the North Room of Eason Hall, 23 Elm St., Westfield.
The trail would create a greenway in the vicinity of the historic Portage Trail, likely combining existing rails-to-trails pathways with other potential trails to connect Barcelona and the Villages of Westfield and Mayville to the Chautauqua Institution.
This trail planning and implementation project is being executed as a direct result of the recommendations presented in the Chautauqua County Greenway Plan (April 2012), which identified the trail as one of the top priority projects. The Chautauqua County Greenway Plan was financed by the County and is being facilitated by the Chautauqua County Department of Planning & Economic Development.
The economic and quality of life benefits of trails are well established. Trails increase the value of property adjacent to them. They provide health and fitness opportunities, and provide economic development opportunities by bringing visitors and their wallets to our communities. They spin off new business opportunities such as bike rentals, trailside restaurants, and lodging. They are an incentive that attracts new residents and encourages companies to locate within the region.
This meeting is the first of two public meetings. Pashek Associates, the consulting firm developing the feasibility study, will review the planning process and lead a public discussion on the potential trail corridors being studied. Attendees will be encouraged to provide input, share their thoughts, comments and suggestions to guide this planning process.
Private land owners along the corridor are encouraged to attend and share their thoughts about the trail and its potential impact. Input given at this meeting will allow Pashek Associates to develop a solution that responds to the desires of the community, residents and adjacent property owners. Pashek Associates will conduct a second public meeting later this year to present their findings on the feasibility of creating this trail.
This meeting is sponsored by the CCPED, the Westfield Development Corporation and Pashek Associates. Refreshments will be served. Free street parking is available in addition to a public parking lot on Elm Street.