Chautauqua County lawmakers have agreed to make an Inter-Governmental Transfer of 2.6-million dollars from fund balance to the County Home. That'll be matched by another 2.6-million dollars in state and federal funding for operations at the Dunkirk facility. Cassadaga-area Republican John Runkle says approval of the move last night will provide the home with 5.2-million dollars that should make it's way back to the county -- after the home is sold. Runkle says the deal with VestraCare should be completed by the end of 2014. Runkle says the 2-for-1 match will go to the County Home to help fund the operation through the end of this year. Once the sale is completed... Jamestown Democrat Chuck Nazzaro says the county will have to use some of the proceeds to pay off about 9-million dollars in debt. However... he says some of that money... along with IGT money... will come back to the county to help offset taxes. He says lawmakers... over time... want to use the money that comes back to "stablize" the county's tax rate over the next five years. Sheridan Republican Terry Niebel went along with the proposal... but, expressed concern that this would just be a "one-shot" deal that will only help reduce taxes next year. He wants to see more of a plan to cut taxes long-term.
County lawmakers also approved receiving a 300-thousand dollar grant for projects on Goose Creek to reduce the amount of sediment that flows into Chautauqua Lake. Legislators George Borrello and Keith Ahlstrom say the grant for the project would help address the "root problems" in the lake that have caused exceesive weed growth. In the past... both say the county has been basically been treating the symptoms... but, not the real problems causing the excessive sediment to pile up.
The Chautauqua County Legislature is getting involved early in the county budget process in an effort to keep local costs to a minimum for next year. County Executive Vince Horrigan says he began the budget process sooner than normal so legislators could have time to review the budget across the board. Horrigan says it is important for the legislature to be fully-informed in order to keep the local tax levy as low as possible. He says that all revolves around the local share. Horrigan says he is committed to an on-time budget... and, will soon be meeting with department heads, his budget director, and finance director. The budget is due out by September 25th.
Our warmer temperatures have led to the first Blue-Green algae blooms to be spotted on the lakes in Chautauqua County. The county's Health and Human Services Department is urging all users of the lake to be cautious... especially when algae is present. The department's Deputy Director of Enviromental Health... Mark Stow... says Blue-Green Algae is a type of cyanobacteria that can form thick "mats" on the water surface... resembling paint. Stow says there have been two blooms spotted in Chautauqua Lake so far this Summer. However... Stow again says the beach area has not been affected. He says Blue-green Algae blooms can be a problem because they can release a toxin... and, at high levels... it's harmful to human and animal health if ingested. Stow says the biggest concern is for pets that get it on their fur... then try to clean it off... and, swallow it. He says that can "kill a pet." The blooms have been also been seen in the past on Findley Lake... and, Lake Erie. For more information... go on-line to CO-dot-Chautauqua-dot-ny-dot-us/243/Environmental-Health.
The Grand Reopening of The Pub in downtown Jamestown has been an overwhelming success! That from Manager Sam Liscandro. Liscandro and his crew reopened the popular eatery and night spot yesterday afternoon after last January 5th's fire heavily-damaged the business. He says it seemed like it took a long time to get the renovation project underway... but, he says once Spring arrived... it went quickly. Liscandro thanked the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation... and, the city's Department of Development for helping to secure funding for the 350-thousand dollar project. He says the main "footprint" of the old bar is intact... with a few changes to the workspace. Liscandro especially thanked city police and fire crews for their quick response that saved the structure. Liscandro adds they're again open from 11:30 AM to 2 AM Mondays through Saturdays.
State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox and gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino want a criminal probe into the Cuomo administration after a New York Times report that says Cuomo's office thwarted attempts by his own special corruption commission to investigate groups with ties to him. Cuomo's office says it would be ``a pure conflict of interest'' for a commission appointed by the governor to investigate the governor.
And... a quick note of a change in the start time for "Jim Roselle Day" at Chautauqua Institution this Sunday. We have partnered with the Institution for the program... which will now start at 1:30... as we honor Jim on his 40 years live on the air from Chautauqua. The event runs until about 3 P... and, is free to the public at The Hall of Philosophy. It will include speakers and music... as well as a book signing after the event. For more information you can visit WJTN-dot-COM.