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Chautauqua County Legislature votes down appointment of Democrat

MAYVILLE – The Chautauqua County Legislature Wednesday voted against the appointment of Charles Cornell as a member of the Legislature to replace Frederick Larson, D-Jamestown, who resigned recently to take a judicial position.

Cornell had been recommended by Democratic committee members from Larson’s home district. The motion was defeated 10 to 7; two legislators were absent.

The seat will remain empty until another appointment is recommended.

Cornell is a former legislator.

In other business, a paving project for a runway at the John Nalbone Field in Dunkirk was approved. The airport was recently rededicated with a larger, longer runway, which will allow medium-sized jets to land there.

A bike path named for Lucille Ball was approved for Celoron. The new path would be a 1.4-mile trail in the community where the actress was born. The path will be used for both bicycles and pedestrians.

Bicyclists also will be able to stow their bikes on the county’s buses. Approval was granted for the racks to be installed outside on four of the buses so that bicyclists can ride with their bikes.

Several water improvement projects were funded through the county’s occupancy tax fund. Silver Creek will benefit from a $40,000 grant to help stabilize the creek banks.

Legislator George Borrello, R-Silver Creek, said he was pleased that the grant will go to the village as well as other grant funds that will go to stream bank stabilization.

The Camp Merz Boy Scout Camp near Mayville will receive $37,000 for shoreline stabilization. The Chautauqua Soil and Water Conservation Board received $40,000 for a project on Goose Creek in Ashville. The Canadaway Creek Habitat Restoration group received $2,650 for educational programs

Family members spoke on behalf of Merle Elderman of Gerry whose property was scheduled to be foreclosed upon due to unpaid taxes. James Caflisch, director of real property tax services, made a recommendation that the Legislature take over some of the parcels that were listed on the foreclosure rolls. Caflisch said the properties would be listed at an auction on June 25.

He said most of the properties were delinquent for 21 years. Back taxes were paid on some properties in the amount of $221,000. The motion to foreclose on the properties was approved by a vote of 15 to 2 with Terry Niebel, R-Sheridan, and Janet Keefe, D-Fredonia, voting against it.

A motion of support was approved for the towns of Charlotte and Cherry Creek to expedite a wind energy project with the Everpower Wind Co. Borrello said he was opposed because the project will receive a lot of tax subsidies and will not be a source of viable renewable energy. The motion was passed by a vote of 13 to 4.