By SHIRLEY PULAWSKI
OBSERVER Staff Writer
Congressman Brian Higgins said he enjoyed his time serving Chautauqua County and will continue to spend time in the area and work with leaders.
Rep. Brian Higgins
The redistricting process made Higgins' district more closely centered around the Buffalo area effective Jan. 3. The changes are based on 2010 census data. In a press release, Higgins expressed a wish "to thank the residents of Chautauqua County for the opportunity to represent them in Congress."
Higgins, who maintained a Chautauqua County district office in the city of Jamestown and made frequent stops across the county, said he and his staff will miss working in the region.
"It is difficult to express in words the fondness we have for Chautauqua County and how we will miss representing the good people in the 27 towns, 15 villages and two cities that stretch across that region," Higgins said. "The more you know Chautauqua County the more you love it and we truly love Chautauqua County."
Higgins touted numerous achievements during his tenure as congressman of the area, including procurement of $300,000 toward construction of the SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator, over $310,000 toward rehabilitation of the Sinclairville Senior Center for improvements to the kitchen which facilitates Meals on Wheels and changes to make the facility handicap accessible and over $10.5 million toward improvements to the Dunkirk and Jamestown airports. He also cited over $4 million in federal fire grants to fire departments in Chautauqua County including funding toward the purchase of a new truck at the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department under his watch.
Higgins claimed to improve health services in the area by obtaining close to $400,000 for equipment and training for nursing students attending Jamestown Community College, more than $26 million to various WNY partners, including Chautauqua County Health Network, and by working to expand and improve electronic medical records at local doctors' offices and hospitals.
Higgins made regular visits to the area, and said more than 840 Congress on Your Corner events were held in Chautauqua County alone, which included specialized events for local veterans and small businesses.
"We're proud of our work in the community and have made lasting friendships with great people along the way," he explained.
Special praise was given to Donna Coughlin and Leigh Anne Jordan who "worked in our local office providing outreach and dedicated service to Chautauqua County residents each and every day."
Higgins pledged to continue to work with Chautauqua County's new representative, Congressman Tom Reed, on matters critical to the region.
Higgins concluded, "My son is a student at (SUNY) Fredonia and my brother spends summers on the lake so I certainly won't be a stranger to this beautiful community. I am grateful for the honor and opportunity to represent the great people of Chautauqua County in our nation's Capital."
Comments on this article may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org