RIPLEY-George Borrello, Republican Candidate for Chautauqua County Executive, plans to construct a “Best of Western New York” Commerce Center in Ripley if elected.
Borrello told WNYNewsNow “Chautauqua County and the Town of Ripley have been ignored and under utilized by the State of New York for far too long.
“It is the gateway to our state,” said Borrello. “We need to utilize that asset to its fullest potential.”
The project, which would sit just off the Shortman Rd. Exit, would offer distinctive products and agricultural goods according to Borrello.
“I envision a facility that offers travelers a considerable selection of locally grown and produced goods vended by a large farmers’ market; agricultural value-added products such as juices, jams and jellies; and unique culinary experiences such as restaurants that serve local cuisine,” explained Borrello.
“I also picture a center that offers original and hand-made artisan goods as well as other products made in Western New York and the Southern Tier. I could see it being a campus with unique architecture in a park-like setting modeled after the Tamarack Tourism Center, located on Route 64 in West Virginia, which attracts more than a half a million visitors annually.”
Borrello noted the project must be self-sustaining, render a profit and bring jobs to the county.
The candidate said he envisions a unique commerce center that creates an unforgettable western portal to the State of New York and Chautauqua County.
“A portion of the center would provide an opportunity for travelers to sample and purchase foods and products that are available throughout Western New York State, including locally grown produce, adult beverages, and hand-made goods, thereby “wetting their appetite” to visit the real thing.” said Borrello.
The proposed facility would also act as a traditional rest stop, providing gas, restrooms, and snacks to travelers per Borrello.
Borrello estimates the project to cost $15-20 million .
The candidate said he would seek funding from the Buffalo Billion via the WNY Regional Economic Development Council.
Borrello said he believes that this project could act as a catalyst for local, regional and state economic development to flourish, while making an
exceedingly favorable first impression for tens of thousands of visitors entering and exiting New York State daily by way of the Thruway.