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Money proposed for recreation trail in Westfield

MAYVILLE — Money may be set aside for a new recreation trail in Westfield.

During the Chautauqua County Legislature Planning and Economic Development Committee this week, the committee approved a resolution to create a capital funding account for the Welch Trail Recreation Area project.

Don McCord, county director of planning and community development, said the design phase is currently ongoing for the project — a 1.25 mile trail in the Westfield area near the former Portage Inn. He said trail construction should start this spring.

For the trail, $50,000 in 3% occupancy tax funding will be appropriated into the new capital account if approved by the whole legislature, which will vote on the resolution during its monthly voting session at 6:30 p.m. tonight on the third floor of the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.

In other business, committee members discussed if funding allocated toward reserve funding keep its original designation.

Kathleen Dennison, county budget director, and McCord, discussed whether funding that was originally allocated for a certain project that was not used should keep its designation when transferred to the reserve fund.

Dennison said funding for some projects never spent date back to 2012. She said with the original project designation, the funds that are in the reserve fund can only be used for certain purposes instead of possibly being reallocated to new projects.

In total, there is about $81,000 in the 3% occupancy tax reserve and $89,724 in the 2% bed tax reserve with a specific project designation.

“It just creates an extra step,” Dennison said about the additional designation for those funds that are in reserve.

Mark Odell, committee chairman, said he will propose the question to the Chautauqua County Legislature leadership and Audit and Control Committee about whether unspent funding should keep its original project designation.

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