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Orleans names legislator to emerging 3-county network

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 July 2013 at 12:00 am

Johnson joins effort to preserve Falls Air Reserve Station

ALBION – County officials from Orleans, Niagara and Erie are working to develop a three-county network to bring a regional voice to shared issues.

The group has identified a top issue as the long-term future of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station as a viable large-scale employer. The Orleans County Legislature appointed Legislator Lynne Johnson, R-Lyndonville, to represent Orleans on the group.

The three-county network will work on the Air Reserve Station and expects to take up the following issues:

The viability and sustainability of regional industry as serviced by and positioned due to the access to various transportation networks.

The interface of transportation networksinterstate highways, freight rail, Great Lakes ports, access to the oceans, international crossing points for highway and rail, and airports capable of transporting passenger and cargo up to and including wide-body aircraft.

Seeking support for needed investment in the same with an emphasis on tying commercial and freight traffic to our two major airports, and allowing direct and high-speed access for container shippers to and from the airports, including through the construction/redesignation of interstate highways and rail lines.

Emphasizing regional transportation infrastructure, including access to ports along Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, access to the Welland Canal, and the existing rail lines including in southern Erie County.

Devising a regional strategy for utilizing and enhancing this transportation infrastructure to position Western New York to be globally competitive.

Reaching long-range agreements to develop communications infrastructure partnerships to position Western New York to be globally competitive.