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New policy will help protect Yates County assets

The Yates County Legislature has approved a policy that lays the groundwork for sharing funds that will be used to protect and preserve natural and recreational resources in the county.

Making improvements to public assets in the county was recommended by Finger Lakes Economic Development Center executive Steve Griffin in one of his reports earlier this year. He said while tourism promotion efforts have helped attract more visitors to the county, and thus more occupancy tax revenue, investments in assets will help keep visitors in the county longer, or encourage them to return for another visit.

The new policy, unanimously adopted at the Oct. 10 legislature meeting, was created as a way for the county to provide support to preserve and develop recreational trail corridors that cross municipal borders and develop outdoor recreation facilities intended to serve all county residents.

The county budget will include a line item of a maximum of 20 percent of the previous year’s occupancy tax revenues. Organizations can apply to the county through the Planning Department for funds. No individual organization will be able to receive more than half of the total amount available for that year, and the organizations may be expected to provide a match of up to 50 percent in cash or in-kind services.

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