8/13/14: Bee News - Do you know what’s happening in Erie County?

With so many things happening around Erie County during this busy summer season, I thought I would use this space this month to bring readers up to speed on some things they might not have known.

For instance, did you know the Eternal Flame at Chestnut Ridge Park is attracting national attention? The Travel Channel will be visiting the park in August to film a story on the Flame for its “World Access” program, which gives viewers access to locations across the country that they might not be able to see on their own. Nestled in a beautiful wooded ravine and fronted by waterfalls, the Flame is a true geological treasure that still remains unknown to many county residents, but the secret is getting out. It will be great to see Chestnut Ridge and the Eternal Flame shine in the national spotlight.

Did you know upgrades to Ralph Wilson Stadium are nearly 90 percent complete? Bills fans will be surprised and impressed when they step through the new gates this year and get to experience a stadium that’s far different from the one they remember. New concessions, new restrooms, brighter concourses, new stairwells and access points, a state-of-the-art scoreboard, a new Bills’ store, upgraded broadband service and new fan lounge areas will greet football-ready fans as the season kicks off. Long known for some of the finest sight lines in the NFL, the stadium will now boast amenities and services comparable to anything seen in larger markets. While my administration is working to keep the Bills in Erie County for the long term, these stadium investments immediately create a competitive, attractive and fan-friendly home for our team, a home that can serve them well into the future.

Did you know that the Erie County Department of Health is preparing for three more rabies clinics in September? More than 1,600 animals received free rabies vaccinations at two clinics in May, and these hugely popular programs will be back in the fall with events planned in Amherst, Springville and West Seneca. The law requires rabies vaccinations for pets, so please take advantage of this free opportunity to protect your four-legged friends and your family.

Did you know that midyear Erie County Budget hearings were held in July and the county is trending toward a modest surplus? Also, I am pleased to say the annual budgetary review conducted by the County Legislature was completed in an unusually brief time and with very few inquiries for commissioners and department heads. This is a sure sign the Legislature also sees the firm footing our budget is on and the accuracy of my administration’s budget projections. Also, even though it’s summertime, we are already at work crafting a 2015 budget that builds on the successes of the past two years.

Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable August.