DUNKIRK N.Y. (WIVB) — The city of Dunkirk has invested millions of dollars into transforming its waterfront and officials say the hard work is paying off. Leaders throughout the state traveled to Chautauqua County on Monday to take notes on how they can do the same.

“Finally the fruits of our labor are being noticed by folks outside the area,” said Vince DeJoy, director of planning & development for the city of Dunkirk.

The city has made major upgrades to the pier and storefronts along it. The city also built Wright Park, which includes a pickleball and volleyball net, a playground and a splash pad.

After hearing about the upgrades made in the city of Dunkirk along the waterfront, lawmakers from Orleans County wanted to see it for themselves.

“They’re here just basically to see all the progress that we’ve made here on Dunkirk’s waterfront and all the future development that we have in the plans and what it took to get to this point,” DeJoy said.

Orleans County Legislator John Fitzak was one of the people who stopped by. He’s hoping the tour gives him ideas for what he can do in his district.

“Just figured let’s just take a look and see how people have done things to prosper and see if we can capitalize and instead of reinventing the wheel, see if we can take aspects of the wheel and modify it for our benefit,” Fitzak said.

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Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.