LITTLE VALLEY — The Cattaraugus County Legislature’s Strategic Planning Committee will tour the county’s Civil War Monument and Historic Building on Wednesday afternoon.
Legislator Matthew Keller, C-Olean, new chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee, said the committee has been tasked with coming up with a resolution on the fate of the long-vacant building and the adjacent former Cattaraugus County Board of Elections building. The structure sits at the corner of Seventh and Court streets.
Keller said he’s still learning about the issues surrounding the building, which until about 10 years ago housed the Cattaraugus County Museum.
“I’ve never walked through there,” he said.
Neither have most of the Strategic Planning Committee members.
“I’m learning a lot about the building,” Keller added.
It was dedicated just over 100 years ago. Now, with little preventative maintenance, it has fallen into disrepair. Paint has peeled from the walls because of high humidity and moisture.
It was nearly two years ago that county lawmakers set aside more than $100,000 to remove asbestos from the building and demolish it, along with the former elections board building.
A group of local preservationists called Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (C.A.M.P.) sought support to delay demolition while seeking funds to preserve the memorial.
Many C.A.M.P. members are descendants of the 154th Regiment, made up of residents from Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties who volunteered to fight in the Civil War.
“I really don’t have any thoughts” about future use of the building, Keller said Monday. “We’ll see what we can do. We want to look at all the options.”
Keller feels the ownership of the building should remain with Cattaraugus County and that a county use for the building should be found.
“The Department of Public Works is giving the tour,” Keller said. “The committee will meet afterward across the street” in the third-floor committee room.
Portions of the meeting may be held in executive session so members can receive advice from county attorney Mark Howden, Keller said.