By Jennie Acklin

In early June, the Ellicottville-Great Valley Trail Committee will be submitting the TAP (Transportation Alternatives Program) application in order to obtain state funding for a community, multiuse trail — but they still need YOUR help!

To strengthen the merits of the application, the committee is looking to the local community for letters of support. It’s not too late to sign a letter of support!

According to the committee, the more positive input they receive from the local community, the better the application is received by the DOT decision-makers.

“Our goal is to have hundreds of support letters,” said EVGV Committee member Ken Hinman. “We have a sample letter that outlines the pertinent information required in the support letter (formatted for anyone to follow), and we will also be circulating a petition for supporters to sign.”

Petitions have been distributed to many businesses in Ellicottville. A sample letter is posted on the trail’s Facebook page for easy access (www.facebook.com/evltrail).

Hinman asked that letters be submitted to any of the EVGV Trail Committee members, to the Town of Ellicottville office, or to the Village of Ellicottville office.

If you do not have Internet access, printed sample letters of support, as well as the petition, are available for signing at the Ellicottville Town Clerk’s office.

The EVGV Trail Committee believes that Ellicottville and Great Valley needs a safe, accessible trail for walkers and bikers to connect the many destinations in our year-round resort community. The planned trail will offer an alternative travel mode, avoid peak-season parking congestion, and link the Ellicottville Central School to the Ellicottville Library, the Village Park, and the Ellicottville Town Center. This route will increase the transportation options local residents and visitors can use to include safe bicycle and pedestrian facilities that link all of the activity centers in the Ellicottville area.

Please remember to sign the petition, or drop off a support letter to a committee member of the Town of Ellicottville office, or the Village of Ellicottville office by June 1.

For more information about the EVGV Trail support letters or the project, please contact any of these EVGV Trail committee members:

Ken Hinman at (716) 474-8214, John Burrell (716) 699-2100, Charlie Coolidge (716) 699-4636, Jennie Acklin at (716) 699-4062 ( jennie@ellicottvilletimes.com), Kathleen Moriarty (716) 699-2355, Kate O’Striker (716) 699-2377, ext. 122, Jane Eshbaugh (716) 699-2345, and Mark Alianello (716) 699-4650.