New York state will soon be releasing the $2.5-million in funding to help the city of Jamestown balance it's current budget, and create a new health insurance program for it's Medicare-eligible retirees.
Mayor Sam Teresi reported to lawmakers at last night's work session that the city has heard back from the state Department of State, which is ready to allow them to formally offer the new insurance program. Teresi says the city still has to provide some additional information, but they should have a resolution ready to discuss in two weeks.
Earlier this year, the state announced the city would get 1.5-million dollars to provide an "incentive package" to get retirees to move into the private sector insurance program. Teresi reiterated that it would be a voluntary program.
In addition, the mayor says the Empire State Development Corporation will be the entity providing the city the one-million dollars in state funding to help plug an $835,000 hole in this year's budget. He says the ESD Board is expected to act on the measure at it's October meeting.
Local law enforcement is reacting to the late Sunday night mass shooting in Las Vegas that's left 59 people dead. Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace Monday called it a horrific event that is "everyone's worst nightmare."
Gerace says this was obviously a "planned" attack and, while it's an on-going investigation he urges peole to report any unusual activity to local authorities, no matter how insignificant it may seem.
Gerace says says the event is shocking and hard to rationalize. He says it's hard to "wrap your head" around something where someone would take dozens of lives like this.
Chautauqua County has sold the Bratt Agriculture Center, near the Jamestown Airport, to a private developer.
But, Cornell Cooperative Extension will still be located there, at least for awhile. Emily Reynolds, the Executive Director of the county extension service, says the sale needs to go through the Federal Aviation Administration first.
Reynolds says her agency could be there even longer, if the rent under the new owner, Jamestown Rental Properties fits their budget. The Bratt Agriculture Center opened nearly 40 years ago as a place where all agriculture related agencies could be under one roof.
Reynolds says the sale of the building is 'another blow' to that idea. She says the concept is something that's need now more than ever. The U-S Department of Agriculture determined the building no longer met their specifications, and left the Ag Center in December 2013.
The Soil and Water Conservation District moved with them to a leased office on Fluvanna Avenue in Jamestown.
Budget deliberations head into a second day in Chautauqua County today as the legislature's Audit and Control Committee began reviewing County Executive Vince Horrigan's proposed 2018 spending plan Monday.
Department heads are meeting with committee members the next four days to see where some savings might be found in the $236.4-million budget. Committee Chairman Pierre Chagnon says lawmakers have been able to cut taxes the past three years but, this year will be a challenge. Chagnon says another tax cut remains their goal.
Horrigan's 2018 budget proposal, which will be his last, increases the tax levy by about 2%. However he says it's about 1.2-million dollars under the state's 2% property tax cap. It's increases the tax rate by about 10-cents per thousand full value.
If adopted as is, Horrigan says the rate would increase to $8.58 per thousand. He says that's still about the average tax rate for western New York counties. Lawmakers looked over the Department of Public Facilities and adminstrative budgets Monday.
It was a tearful day of joy for a local State Farm agent who opened her own branch in Jamestown in September.
With her employees and family by her side, Paige Foriska cut the silk ribbon in front of the 2000 Washington Street State Farm branch Monday morning. A Pittsburgh native, Foriska says they opened September 1st, but used the month to train fellow employees and put final touches on the recently remodeled location.
After the ribbon cutting ceremony, Foriska shared a few heartfelt words. She has been working for State Farm, a company that prides itself on being a "good neighbor" for 5 years and is proud to continue extending that vision in the Jamestown area with offers such as auto, health, and life insurance as well as banking options.
Those looking for insurance or financial services through State Farm can call the Washington Street branch at 716-483-2762.
A Jamestown man was arrested in late last month on charges related to an alleged sexual offense that took place in Bemus Point in late August of 2016.
That after a Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers eceived a complaint of a sex offense on a minor. An investigation was conducted and led to the arrest of 28 year-old Timothy Perrin.
Perrin taken into custody by deputies and was arraigned Monday morning in county court. He was remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail in lieu of 25-thousand dollar cash bail or 50-thousand property bond.
In New York state government news, lines are being drawn over whether to hold a state constitutional convention as supporters and opponents line up on either side of the issue.
The state Bar Association announced its support this month, joining the government watchdog group Citizens Union. Opponents include organized labor and top lawmakers. Voters will decide November 7th whether to hold a convention, where delegates would propose changes to the constitution. Voters would then decide whether to approve or reject the changes.
Supporters say a convention is an opportunity to address political corruption and campaign finance. Opponents worry about special interests hijacking the process. Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to add synthetic fentanyl to the controlled substances list to crack down on dealers who manufacture the powerful drug.