Gateway plan met with mixed reaction

Borrello plan

is nothing new


We saw county Legislator George Borrello’s proposal for a Gateway in Ripley.

Our excitement quickly turned to disappointment because this is no more than a retread of the 2013 proposal that is part of the county’s strategic plan, at right. It even used the same picture from the initial proposal. The discussions held during the Gateway Local Economic Development Group meetings also included many of the same ideas.

We liked the idea then, but the governor and New York state powers made it clear that they were not going to fund a welcome center. The owner of the property has rejected several offers and certainly does not appear motivated to sell.

We also have heard this proposal from Mike Ferguson, Mr. Borrello’s opponent, months ago. He included it as part of his agricultural food hub plan.

We do not intend to give up on a good idea. We applaud both candidates for supporting it.

The question is why did Mr. Borrello not drive this proposal for the last four years while he was a member of the Legislature?

He appears to have a good relationship with County Executive Vince Horrigan and he sits in the majority. If he wanted to get this done, why wait?

A solid discussion with the Ripley Town Board would be a positive first step. The town has put forth multiple proposals over the last five years: a medium scale farm market, an information center, and a state farm store.

County representatives, spend your time seeking out private investors to initiate the start of a Gateway at available sites near the Thruway. Then announce your progress.





Candidate has right idea for Ripley


I am writing to support county Legislator George Borrello’s “Best of Western New York Gateway Center” proposal that was outlined in the OBSERVER (Sept. 3).

My wife and I travel regularly by motorhome and have visited Tamarack in West Virginia, which Mr. Borrello cited as a model for his proposal. Tamarack is a must-stop for us. Local craftsman and businesses there are showcased as well as local history and tourist information.

Every other state we have visited has a wonderful “Gateway Center,” which leads us to spend more time and money in that state while travelling.

I want to compliment Mr. Borrello on thinking big to help our area. The “Best of Western New York Gateway Center” is the right plan to showcase products, restaurants,wineries and destinations in our area. I am a lifelong Democrat, but Mr. Borrello’s vision for Chautauqua County has earned him my vote for county executive.