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August 2017 Column - Enjoying final weeks of summer at county parks


The issues with pot holes in my district this year are among the worst I’ve seen during my time as a county legislator.
Institutions like the Botanical Gardens are not only treasures in our neighborhoods, but they are also vital to the greater Western New York Community

Legislator John Mills joined students in the 11th district to make cards for the 8th annual “Valentines for Veterans” program.

County Clerk Michael P. Kearns and County Legislator John Mills have announced a pistol permit recertification outreach will be held from 5 to 7 p.m.

Earlier this week, the Legislature came together to propose its amendments to the County Executive’s proposed $1.48 billion budget. We will vote as a body on Thursday, Dec. 7, which will be too late to report on in this month’s column...

oneilj - Posted on 11 August 2017

It had been awhile since our local newscasts started with, “A tornado touched down today,” but on July 20 that is exactly what portions of Erie County dealt with. Fortunately no one was killed or seriously injured, but there was a great deal of damage on some properties. I want to thank our emergency responders and everyone who assisted for their quick response and efficient cleanup efforts.


Due to the storm, portions of Chestnut Ridge Park were impacted, but I am pleased to report that the Parks website has announced that the lower End of Chestnut Ridge and the Eternal Flame Trail have reopened. If you ever have questions about whether or not a parks’ service is open (summer, fall, winter or spring) please visit www.erie.gov/parks. For example, this year, swimming at Bennett Beach has been closed for a variety of reasons, so it is always go to check before heading there.  You can find out if the beach is open or closed just by going to the home page and checking under “Activities Today.”


I want to also thank the crews who got to work to reopen Chestnut Ridge, which not only suffered damage but is being used as a central location for dealing with the large volume of trees that came down during the storm.


It is important that the park is ready to host the numerous events coming up:

  • The K.I.A. Memorial Road March will take place at Chestnut Ridge Park on August 19. The event helps support veterans, their families and veterans organizations in Western New York. For information, visit www.kiamemorialmarch.com.
  • Movie Night, showing Disney's “Ratatouille” is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. Sunday, August 20 on the Chestnut Ridge Sled Hill. The movie is free and open to the public. Concessions will be available for purchase. A second Movie Night, showing Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” (animated version), will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16.
  • The third annual Chestnut Ridge Summer Classic Tennis Tournament returns to Chestnut Ridge Park from Sept. 7 to Sept. 10, 2017. For information, visit http://chestnutridgeconservancy.org.


It is also not too late to get involved in the Junior Park Ranger Program, which is a good way to “introduce children and all those who are young at heart to the wonderful recreational opportunities available on a year round basis at our various county parks. Numerous activities can be enjoyed in natural environmental areas that showcase the beauty of these destinations.” Visit the Park’s website for information on where to pick up a passport, including the Chestnut Ridge Casino. Forestry Sugar Shack (outside) and Sprague Brook Office.


If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at 858-8850 or john.mills@erie.gov