By Jann Wiswall

HoliMont hosted a public meeting for area residents on Friday, March 22, to learn more about the new sidewalk that will be installed along Rte. 242 from HoliMont into the Village of Ellicottville. The long-awaited project, which was originally proposed by HoliMont, the Town and Village of Ellicottville, and others as far back as 2006, is scheduled for completion by the State Department of Transportation (DOT) by summer 2014.

As outlined at Friday’s meeting, the project already has begun, with plans and renderings available for people to review and ask questions about.  Once drawings and plans are finalized, DOT will begin the time-consuming process of acquiring land that falls into the category of “eminent domain” with owners of property along the sidewalk route.

About 25 property owners will be monetarily compensated for the land that is “required for public improvement” by the State. The appraisal process for that land is underway, noted DOT representative Ken Kuminski, and negotiations will be held privately with each property owner. The DOT expects to have the acquisition process completed by January 2014.

The sidewalk project, which includes drainage improvements, is one of three projects the State recently agreed to complete for Ellicottville. The second project is improvement of the Elizabeth/Fillmore/219 intersection and the third is rebuilding the handicap ramps and curbs at five intersections in the Village along Washington Street.

According to Town of Ellicottville Engineer Mark Alianello, “these are great projects.” All will improve safety throughout the Village and Town for vehicle and pedestrian traffic alike.

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