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Chadwick Bay development group encourages new members to join

December 17, 2015
By Rebecca Cuthbert ( , Westfield Republican

BROCTON - The more the merrier.

That was the clear message of Thursday's Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corp. meeting at the Brocton American Legion Post 434. New and returning municipal partners are absolutely welcome, because towns and villages can get more done together.

"The more people we get to pull the plow, or the wagon, or the carriage or whatever you want to call it, moving in the same direction, the better off we are," said Local Economic Development Committee Chair Jay Warren, who encouraged those at the meeting to spread the word about the benefits of shared services and regional projects.

Warren also shared the good news about the Northern Chautauqua County Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, which is a joint project between the LED, Chadwick Bay, SUNY Fredonia, and 10 municipalities along the county's 43 miles of Lake Erie shoreline. In a press release dated Thursday, Senator Catherine Young's office announced that the LWRP will receive $50,000 in Regional Economic Development Committee grant funding to move into its second phase.

"The Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development will complete the (LWRP) (...) The LWRP will provide a regional plan for the revitalization and protection of Lake Erie's waterfront within Chautauqua County that utilizes and enhances the region's unique natural and community assets while advancing economic development," states the press release.

Warren said the state's $50,000 will be matched with $30,000 from the group and $20,000 in in-kind services, meaning there will be $100,000 available for the project. He also credited all of the municipalities, regional organizations, chambers of commerce and town and village leaders with this impressive step forward.

"This is all regional. This is all people working together, and that's what the state wants to hear right now," he said.

He was preaching to the choir.

"Years ago, an individual municipality could get a grant relatively easily," said Portland Supervisor Dan Schrantz. "Now, you have to have a regional approach. That's where the value of the Chadwick Bay organization is. When they hear we've already got an organization together, looking for grant opportunities, that's a big plus right away."

The group discussed several additional joint projects and possibilities, including the regional health consortium idea introduced at the previous meeting, the North County Water District, buying sand and salt for roads in the winter together for a bulk rate, putting together a plan for developing a regional fund for the demolition of derelict buildings and more.

Warren said the Chadwick Bay board should feel free to call him and the LED with any ideas they may have, since two heads are better than one, and a roomful of heads should be able to tackle any problem.

"It just takes a good plan, and people getting behind the plan. Making those compromises as we sit here at this table and talk about it. Gotta give a little. Gotta take a risk, sometimes. Some of these (regional projects) are coming to fruition," he said.

The Chadwick Bay board has not yet set a date for the second regional insurance information presentation by Don Barber, executive director of the Greater Tompkins County Health Consortium, but they will soon. Schrantz and Warren agreed that they need to invite "bigger players," like Jamestown and the county, in order to really make the idea a success. An afternoon presentation was suggested, as evenings don't always work for busy community leaders.

Voting members unanimously passed the 2016 budget, though elections were put off until January as a courtesy to those members who are new or who may be returning. Letters of welcome will be sent out soon to Westfield, Hanover, Silver Creek and Fredonia, inviting their leaders to join Chadwick Bay in working together for the greater good of the region.



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