Chautauqua County lawmakers have approved a local law that will allow the county to use excess capital project monies to expand one of it's industrial parks. The legislature last night approved the measure to pool money to bring more property into the Mason Industrial Park just outside of Jamestown. County Executive Vince Horrigan says it's a great opportunity. The utility rates come from the hydro-power allocation to the Jamestown Board of Public Utilites. Horrigan says there is some definate interest in the added property the county would be adding. He says there are "several prospective businesses" that have expressed an interest... and, he adds there may also be more land available. Horrigan did not identify any of the parties showing interest in the additional space in the south county Industrial Park... which is located in the town of Ellicott.
Chautauqua County fire investigators are continuing to look into the cause of a fire that destroyed a single-family home in the town of Carroll early yesterday morning. Frewsburg fire crews were called to the scene at 321 Bragg Road about 3:15 AM. Third-Assistant Frewsburg Chief Cliff Marsh says the blaze had a big head start on them.
Marsh says they were joined at the scene by Kiantone... Kennedy... Gerry... and, Busti fire crews. Russell, Pennsylvania was on stand-by. He says they had some difficulty getting the blaze under control... due partly to a steel roof on the house, and getting water to the scene. Crews had to use a shuttle. They were at the scene until about 10 AM. No one was hurt... but, it's not known if the family living there was home at the time. About 30 firefighters were at the scene at the height of the blaze.
Dunkirk firefighters were called out to working fire on Lake Shore Drive East yesterday morning. The fire at the Busy Bee Laundromat at 123 Lake Shore-East was reported shortly after 10:30 AM. Dunkirk Fire Chief Mike Edwards says they found a lot of smoke when they arrived. Edwards says firefighters had the fire out within minutes. The cause of the fire is under investigation with moderate smoke damage being reported throughout the facility. There were no injuries, with fire crews at the scene for about 45 minutes.
One person was hurt -- but, not seriously -- when her car struck a farm tractor hauling a manure spreader on Route 60 in the town of Gerry last Tuesday night. Sheriff's Deputies say 57 year-old Debra Roy of Bard Road was southbound about 9:30 PM when the accident occured. Officers say Roy's car struck the tractor and spreader from behind. The man driving the tractor... 59 year-old Darell Gross of Route 60... was not hurt. Officers say Roy was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment.
The head of two local business organizations say they intend to keep their eyes on the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, and the city due to concerns over the direction of the BPU. Todd Tranum is the president of the county's Chamber of Commerce... and, Executive Director of the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier. Tranum says they feel the need to "protect" the BPU, and the jobs it "upholds" in the Jamestown-area. He cites recent changes to the board. Both the Chamber and MAST have had problems with the city taking a dividend payment from the BPU over the past three years. However... both the BPU and City Council have had to approve those moves. Three former board members who opposed the payment were not re-appointed by Teresi earlier this year. Those three combined for 42 years of service on the board. Tranum says Teresi has removed about 100 years of combined experience from the board. Three new members attended their first meeting of the BPU earlier this week. At that meeting... Tranum asked the board to withdraw it's "mini-rate" case currently before the state's Public Service Commission. Tranum declined to discuss a letter that he had sent on behalf of both panels suggesting that Mayor Teresi wants to dissolve the BPU... and, make it part of city government. The issue was raised in a recent article in the Jamestown Post-Journal. Teresi says the BPU is already part of city government, and says there has been not discussion raised about dissolving the board.
While having issues with the changes Mayor Sam Teresi has made the the BPU... Chamber and MAST leader Todd Tranum says he has no problem with the board's decision of a chairman. The board earlier this week named former County Legislator Chuck Cornell as chairman of the BPU. Cornell has most recently been the head of the Department of Governance at the SUNY College at Fredonia. Tranum feels Cornell is a "very capable" chairman.
New York's largest teachers union is suing the state over changes to the teacher evaluation law. The New York State United Teachers, along with a handful of teachers and local teachers' unions, filed suit in Albany late Tuesday. The union is challenging recent state measures that allow superintendents to impose improvement plans on teachers who receive poor evaluation scores. The suit also disputes the Education Department's ability to require changes to districts' collectively bargained evaluation plans. NYSUT says the state's actions violate Taylor Law collective bargaining rights. State education officials declined to respond, citing a policy against discussing pending litigation.
Tourists hoping for a glimpse of a dry Niagara Falls will have to wait until at least 2019. Parks officials say there's no funding yet for a bridge replacement project that could involve shutting down the water flowing over one section of the falls by building a temporary structure to redirect it.