An Earth Day announcement made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo brought positive news to the Southern Tier.
Cuomo announced $90 million in statewide funding on Tuesday for the improvement of state parks and historic sites, $1 million of which was allocated for Long Point State Park.
Additionally, $1.5 million was designated for Allegany State Park.
The funding for Long Point will be used to connect the park's stand-alone sewer system to the South and Center Sewer District.
"I'd like to thank the governor for his support of the parks in our county and our state," said County Executive Vince Horrigan, who has been a strong advocate for completing a continuous sewer system around Chautauqua Lake.
While four treatment plants make up the lake's wastewater system, properties not connected to the system have aging infrastructures, which contribute to the amount of phosphates and contaminants released into Chautauqua Lake.
"Any time we can get funding for our nearby parks, that fits right into our strategy to attract tourists."
Chautauqua County executive
Horrigan discussed the issue heavily in his State of the County address in March, when he revealed an improvement plan named Operation Jump-Start.
"This fits right into Operation Jump-Start," he said of Cuomo's announcement. "The connection of Long Point State Park to the sewer system has been something we've long tried to accomplish. It will help our environment at the park, as we are trying to complete a sewer project to reduce contaminants, and this will enable a much improved lake situation."
Horrigan said the connection also relates to tourism in Chautauqua County, which is a key part of Jump-Start.
"Any time we can get funding for our nearby parks, that fits right into our strategy to attract tourists to the recreational part of Chautauqua County and the lake," he said.
At Allegany, $500,000 will be used for the repair and resurfacing of park roadways, while $1 million will fund the rehabilitation of the Camp Turner Group Camp Cabin Colony.
Statewide, 69 projects received funding.
"As we celebrate Earth Day, we continue to invest in our parks and historic sites statewide," Cuomo said. "New York is proud to have the nation's oldest state park system, and we will continue to do all that we can to preserve and guard these natural resources so that they can be enjoyed for generations to come."
Aside from Cuomo's funding, Allegany also received $420,000 last week from the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.
As mentioned in Tuesday's edition of The Post-Journal, the funds will be used to build 28 new cabins.
With 1.5 million visitors annually, Allegany State Park is the largest in New York and encompasses 65,000 acres, along with 300 campsites and 350 cabins.
The $420,000 is part of a $2.1 million, 10-year plan focusing on promoting tourism and attracting visitors to the region.