Elmira, N.Y., September 27—New York State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) joined legislative colleagues, local leaders and members of the Seneca Lake Byway Committee for a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday at the Valois-Logan-Hector Fire Hall to officially designate the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway.
O’Mara, Senator Mike Nozzolio (R-C, Seneca Falls) and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) sponsored this year’s legislation designating the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway between Schuyler and Seneca counties as a New York State Scenic Byway. The Senate approved the legislation (S.5818/A.8468, Chapter 310 of the Laws of 2012) in late March. It was given final legislative approval in early June by the Assembly, where it was also cosponsored by Assemblymen Phil Palmesano (R-C, Corning) and Chris Friend (R-Big Flats).
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the measure into law on August 2nd.
Supporters of the designation, which has been sought by community leaders throughout the past decade along the 18-mile corridor that follows portions of State Route 414 between the town of Hector in Schuyler County and the Seneca County town of Lodi, believe it will strengthen regional tourism and provide numerous other benefits. Following a nomination by the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway Steering Committee, the designation was recommended by the New York Scenic Scenic Byways Advisory Board in December 2010.
O’Mara said: “This is a state roadway offering some of the most impressive scenic beauty anywhere in New York State. It will be enhanced as a tourist attraction by this designation. I welcomed the opportunity this year to help support this local vision and long-standing commitment to the Byway, and to finally gain the Legislature’s approval. We appreciate Governor Cuomo’s recognition of its importance to our region.”
Barry O’Neill, chairman of the Seneca Lake Byway Board of Directors, said: “This is truly a community effort. The people who live on the byway or own businesses know that this will be a great boost for the local economy. Visitors who come into the area will get a unique experience and come back.”
Assemblyman Palmesano said: “I’ve been proud to support the designation of the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway. It’s the product of a lot of hard work and perseverance by many local residents and leaders, and it’s a real victory for regional tourism.”
Assemblyman Friend said: “This designation will put in place another powerful tool to help showcase outstanding regional attractions and boost local tourism in important and meaningful ways. The Seneca Lake Scenic Byway will be a great addition to tourism in New York State.”
The state Legislature established the Scenic Byways Program nearly two decades ago. It’s aimed at coordinating and state and local efforts to enhance a region’s scenic, historical, natural, recreational, cultural and archeological resources. Scenic byways elsewhere in the state have brought local communities numerous benefits, including tourism-related economic growth; improved traveler and community services; a way to promote regional history and civic pride; greater stewardship and management of natural resources; enhanced roadway signage; and access to federal funding.