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July 2014 Column - Connecting with the community through business tour


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) announces that the Erie County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department will hold two focus group sessions to gather public opinion on Como Lake Park as the department works to update the Parks Master Plan.

Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) announces that a measure has been passed unanimously by the County Legislature urging New York State to enact new policies to encourage living organ donation. With the rates of living donors dropping, several policies including donor reimbursement, tax deductions for lost wages, and long term follow up medical care for donors has been recommended to help rebuild the donor base in New York State.

Erie County Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga), with the support of community partners, announces his 3rd  annual Food Drive to benefit the Alden-Marilla Community Food Pantry and Tri-Community Food Pantry. Non-perishable goods will be collected from Monday, Nov. 21 through Monday, Dec. 12.

It’s that time of the year again when the Legislature reviews the County Executive’s budget proposal. The Legislature recently concluded its budget hearings with every county department and elected office where we reviewed spending requests.

At the Erie County Legislature’s annual budget hearings, Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) called on the Erie County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department to submit a budget request to fund dredging of Como Lake as part of next year’s Capital Projects Budget.

Small businesses are a large part of our community. By providing employment, contributing to the tax base, and reinvesting dollars into the economy, local businesses are the foundation of our villages, towns and cities.

Our local businesses are also a sense of pride. Every time I look through the Chamber’s announcements or read the local papers, I see that another establishment is marking an anniversary milestone. The small businesses in our community are known for their longevity, perseverance and passion for supporting their hometown. For local business owners, it’s not just about their company succeeding but also about their hometown booming.

To celebrate and support local commerce, I have launched my “25 Businesses in 25 Days Tour” to meet with owners and employees throughout my district to learn more about their operation, as well as offer any assistance from the county that I can. From cafes to industrial factories, my district, which includes Alden, Cheektowaga, Depew and Lancaster, boasts several businesses that are very important to our local economy.

As a county legislator, I am committed to assisting businesses with their mission and to help them thrive. At the county level there are various ways that we can assist businesses. I am also always willing to work as a facilitator to connect businesses with the help they need. When I first learned that Nutrablend in Lancaster was facing hurdles with its plans to expand, I met with the company and we discussed its issues. The two biggest concerns were a lack of skilled workforce and inadequate public transportation. To address these concerns, I suggested a meeting with Erie Community College to discuss how it could prepare students for a future with this great company. I also arranged a meeting with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to discuss options for adding a new bus stop close to the company’s Walden Avenue office. Government and public agencies can be an asset to private businesses but beginning the conversation is the critical first step.

I am looking forward to meeting with many businesses throughout the district during my tour. At each stop I hope to learn about the establishment’s history, its future goals and challenges it faces. If you would like your business to be added to the agenda, please contact my Legislative Office at 858-8856 or email ted.morton@erie.gov to arrange a meeting. You can follow my “25 Businesses in 25 Days” Tour on Facebook at www.facebook.com/legislatortedmorton. If your business has a Facebook page, please connect with me there. Together, government, chambers and private businesses, can succeed and make Erie County even better.