The Chautauqua County Legislature's Audit and Control Committee has approved another one-million dollars in spending to be cut from the 2016 budget proposal. The panel voted 3-to-2 late this (Thursday) morning to approve the revised 256-million dollar spending plan. Committee Chairman John Runkle says they reduced the tax levy -- or the amount to be raised by taxes -- in Executive Vince Horrigan's original budget by a total of 4.3-percent. Horrigan's proposed tax rate cut was 4.6-percent... but, it's now 5.9-percent. Runkle says Committee members Shawn Heenan... George Borrello... and, Pierre Chagnon voted for the revised spending plan. But... he and panel member Chuck Nazzaro both voted against the revised spending plan... because the legislature's "overwhelming consensus" at last month's legislature meeting to cut the budget by 5.1-percent. Runkle says he and Nazzaro believe they can reach that number by moving 500-thousand dollars from the undesignated fund balance to the general fund. He says they will push that on the floor of the legislature at next Wednesday night's voting session on the 2016 budget.
While most revenue sources are being exhausted... there may be one area where the city of Jamestown may be able to find some additional funds for the 2016 budget. That from City Council President Greg Rabb... who is also a member of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities. Mayor Sam Teresi has included a 250-thousand dollar dividend payment from the BPU next year... which is down just over 200-thousand dollars from the previous two years. That's due to a projected loss of Electric Division sales next year. However... Rabb feels the BPU needs to take a harder look at it's spending. Rabb says the BPU runs it's five divisions on Enterprise Funds... and, some local business leaders have criticed the city for looking to the Board for the dividend payments... which have helped the city balance it's budget. However... he says neither the city, nor the business community have asked for the BPU to look at spending, and possible cuts. Rabb was also quick to say that the Board of Public Utilities has agreed to the dividend payment for the past two years. He says the request comes from the city... and, is reviewed by the BPU.
The budget shortfall at the Prendergast Library in Jamestown has led the library board to take two actions to save money through the end of this year and next. The panel yesterday afternoon voted to lay-off one, full-time librarian in 2016 to reduce pay-roll. Board President Tom Rankin says the board acted on the recommendation of Library Director Tina Scott. Rankin says they were reluctant to make the decision... but, adds it's necessary to keep the library operating. In addition... Rankin says the Library will once again be closing on Sundays beginning November 1st. He says over time... the closing will save them money on heat and electricity between Saturday night's and Monday mornings. The board also recently learned that Mayor Sam Teresi had cut the library's funding by 15-thousand dollars in 2016... and, Rankin says -- if that cut stands -- they will have to look at further cuts to their budget. The mayor just recently presented the budget... which includes the cut to the library... and, ends all funding for the city's Senior Center. Rankin says closing the library on Sunday's will save about 10-thousand dollars annually. The library also got a presentation Thursday about a Dallas, Texas man's proposal to have the library's art work refurbished at his cost... and, to create an endowment for the upkeep of those many, valuable art works. His wife is from the Jamestown-area.
A Sinclairville man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of Crystal Methamphetime... and, another drug during a traffic stop in Jamestown. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they pulled over 35 year-old David Bailey for allegedly driving irratically on Steele Street -- near Barrett Avenue -- just after 6 AM Wednesday. Samuelson says further investigation showed that Bailey was allegedly in possesson of a nylon bag that contained 7-grams of 'Crystal Meth.' He says they also found Bailey in possession of a single strip of Suboxone which he did not have a prescription for. He was arraigned on charges of third and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Bailey was sent to the county jail without bail. Anyone with information on illegal narcotics trafficking in Jamestown is asked to call the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
State Police in Warren are asking for the publics help to find out who broke into a Pine Grove Township home sometime between 8am and 1pm on Wednesday, October 21st and allegedly took a number of items including 5 guns, a sentry safe filled with personal items, a notebook computer and some jewelry. State police are also investigating a burglary that occured in Townline Road in Brokenstraw Township where someone entered a house through a dog door and rummaged through the house on Thursday. All of the closets and drawers had been gone through and a glass china cabinet was found broken. Pennsylvania state police are asking anyone who may have information on either of the burglaries to call them at 728-3600 or Warren County Crimestoppers at 1-800-83-CRIME.
NY Green Bank says it's helping finance three projects expected to expand the use of solar and wind power and help homeowners cut their power usage or switch to more efficient sources. The state-sponsored entity says its 49-million dollars in loans should leverage up to 178-million in private capital. NY Green Bank funding includes 25-million dollars for Level Solar, expected to help provide solar installations for up to 6,000 New Yorkers. Another 20-million dollars is for Renew Financial to expand low-cost consumer lending for energy improvements for up to 12,000 homeowners.
After several delays... demolition work is underway at 123 Central Avenue in Dunkirk... the collapsed portion of the Coburn Block building. Crews began tearing down the remainder of the structure shortly before 9 AM Thursday. Director Kathy Peterson with Chautauqua County Rural Ministry says demolition crews have been hosing down the rubble because of the potential of asbestos. Hannah Demolition of Buffalo is handling the big job... and, they have a number of tractor-trailers on standby to haul away debris from the site. Peterson says she's pleased that the work is finally getting underway so they can get back into their building... and, again provide all the services they do. City officials say the work should take a day or two to complete.
A founding member of the popular 1970s band Three Dog Night has died in western New York. Cory Wells was 74. Bandmate Danny Hutton says Wells experienced acute back pain weeks ago... and, died suddenly Tuesday in Dunkirk, where he had been living. Universal Music Enterprises spokeswoman Sujata Murphy said Wednesday the cause of Wells' death was unknown. Wells, Hutton and Chuck Negron formed Three Dog Night in 1967. They were dubbed the ``kings of oversing'' by Village Voice critic Robert Christgau.