The Town of Concord is a rural community located 45 minutes southeast of Buffalo, in an environment of beautifully wooded hillsides, dramatic stream valleys and highly productive farmland. The Village of Springville is the economic and social heart of the community, the only village in the Town of Concord, and an urban center serving nine towns in Erie and Cattaraugus Counties (Boston, Colden, Sardinia, Yorkshire, Ashford, East Otto, Collins, North Collins, and Concord).
Historically, Springville was the center of a prosperous agricultural district, providing services and goods to farmers in the countryside and serving as a market for agricultural products. Today, the agricultural base is shrinking. Springville’s ties to Buffalo have become increasingly important, as more residents commute north to the metropolitan area for employment.
Springville remains strong as a business, retail and medical center for Concord and its surrounding communities. One important reason for this is the completion of US Route 219 in the early 1980s as a limited access highway from Buffalo to Springville. In 2010, US Route 219 Extension opened, providing an improved limited-access north-south highway route through the Village and into Cattaraugus County, with an Exit at Route 39. The impact of this diversion of vehicular traffic from the existing highway in the South Cascade Business District is yet to be measured. The Old 219 Bridge (also known as the South Cascade Miller Road Bridge) is aged and in need of replacement. The New York State Department of Transportation has committed funds to reconstruct the Old 219 Bridge across Cattaraugus Creek and construction work is scheduled to begin in 2015. These improvements to the north-south transportation infrastructure should maintain Springville’s strategic geographical position in the Southern Tier.
US Route 219’s location through Springville has improved transportation to and from the area, and has spawned a modern “big box” retail area along South Cascade Drive.
The medical community of Concord/Springville is an important aspect of its economic base. Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, established in 1946, has a long-standing tradition of providing excellent health care services to residents of Springville and the surrounding communities. As one of the largest employers in the region, the hospital serves approximately 55,000 people in the surrounding communities. The physicians and other medical services associated with the hospital draw many people to the Village on a continual basis. Bertrand Chaffee Hospital is a significant contributor to the community’s economy.
Recreation creates another economic sector for the Springville area, including Kissing Bridge ski area, snowmobiling, hiking, canoeing, fishing and sightseeing in the Zoar Valley area. The retail and service businesses along Route 219 in Springville benefit from visitors traveling south from Buffalo to recreational resort areas in Ellicottville and Allegany State Park.
Additional elements of the area’s economy are the NYS Correctional Facility in Collins and the West Valley Demonstration Project (a US Department of Energy nuclear facility, currently undergoing cleanup in Ashford). Each of these facilities employs several hundred people.