Congressional representation in Western New York has officially changed.
U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-South Buffalo, thanked the residents of Chautauqua County for the opportunity to represent them in Congress.
"It is difficult to express in words the fondness we have for Chautauqua County and how we will miss representing the good people in the 27 towns, 15 villages and two cities that stretch across that region," Higgins said. "The more you know Chautauqua County the more you love it and we truly love Chautauqua County."
Higgins cited some of his work on behalf of the region in a recent news release, including:
Nearly $300,000 toward construction of the SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator;
$500,000 to restore and improve Bemus-Stow Ferry landings;
Significant federal support toward the recently opened $8.5 million project transforming the historic Erie Lackawanna Train Depot in Jamestown.
More than 840 Congress on Your Corner events in Chautauqua County alone including specialized events for local veterans and small businesses;
Over $310,000 toward rehabilitation of the Sinclairville Senior Center for improvements to the kitchen which facilitates Meals on Wheels and changes to make the facility handicap accessible.
$17 million federal investment in reconstruction of the Washington Street Bridge in Jamestown;
Over $10.5 million toward improvements to the Dunkirk and Jamestown airports.
Over $1.8 million for Construction of & Improvements to Children's Safety Village;
Over $4 million in federal fire grants to fire departments in Chautauqua County including funding toward the purchase of a new truck at the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department.
Close to $400,000 to provide state-of-the-art equipment and training for nursing students attending Jamestown Community College;
More than $26 million to various WNY partners, including Chautauqua County Health Network, working to expand and improve electronic medical records at local doctors' offices and hospitals;
Federal grant to provide a new "S-miles to Go" van, which serves the dental needs of elementary school children in Chautauqua County.
Higgins also worked closely with leaders at Jamestown's Robert H. Jackson Center to push for and win approval of the naming of Western New York's new federal courthouse in Buffalo after the esteemed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Jackson, providing a lasting legacy to the renowned national leader who practiced law in Jamestown and is buried in Frewsburg.
"We're proud of our work in the community and have made lasting friendships with great people along the way," Higgins added. "There are too many individuals to name but special thanks goes out to Halcyon Mueller of Findley Lake, one of our most loyal Congress on Your corner visitors; Bob Williams the local Ambassador for the American Cancer Society who serves as a volunteer and amazing voice for cancer patients; Dave Rowley who provided a format for frequent, thoughtful discussion and debate about the issues; former SUNY Fredonia President Dennis Hefner who we worked closely with on the Incubator project and so much more; and most importantly Donna Coughlin and Leigh Anne Jordan, who worked in our local office providing outreach and dedicated service to Chautauqua County residents each and every day."
Higgins, who maintained a Chautauqua County district office in Jamestown and made frequent stops across the county, pledged to continue to work with Chautauqua County's new representative, U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, on matters critical to the region.
"My son is a student at Fredonia and my brother spends summers on the lake so I certainly won't be a stranger to this beautiful community," Higgins said. "I am grateful for the honor and opportunity to represent the great people of Chautauqua County in our nation's capital."