Local News Headlines

Horrigan says Chautauqua County is preparing for "life without NRG..."

There will be two basic considerations to moving Chautauqua County forward if -- and when -- the NRG Power Plant in Dunkirk closes for good.  Those are the feelings of County Executive Vince Horrigan... as he spoke Friday morning to more than 100 members of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce during the group's annual County Executive's Breakfast in Mayville.  Horrigan says growing the tax base is first and foremost... while merging govermment services is next.  He adds, though, that there are infrastructure needs to bring that about.  One is hooking up sewer services all around Chautauqua Lake.  Horrigan says the Chautauqua Height's area will see it's wastewater sent to the north county for treatment under the plan.  In addition... Horrigan says moving the North County Water District across the finish line is another big consideration.  In fact... he says officials with Athenex pharmacutials -- which is locating a major, manufacturing facility in the town of Dunkirk -- say the new district was an important draw for them.  Horrigan adds that his Regional Solutions Commission is looking at a number of potential cost-cutting measures... with the biggest area being public safety.

Horrigan says consolidations are hard because localities don't want to give up identities; need to look 5 and 10 years down the road...

Getting people to look down the road 5 to 10 years is often times the hardest part of trying to consolidate or merge government operations.  That from County Executive Horrigan during Friday's Executive Breakfast at Webb's Captains Table in Mayville.  Horrigan talked about how difficult it is to get buy-in to the idea of merging governments... or services.  He talked about the situation in Forestville... where residents voted last year to dissolve the village government into the town of Hanover.  Horrigan says people decided they didn't need the village after the facts and figures were laid out by the Center for Governmental Research in Rochester.  He says Forestville residents had seen huge increases in village taxes and other issues before that.  Asked if it takes "a crisis" to bring about such change... Horrigan said it doesn't hurt.  But... he says it shouldn't.  Horrigan adds the silent majority needs to speak up because you'll always hear the 'nasty and the negative' from on-line bloggers.  Horrigan joked that they even call him "Grampa Horrigan."  But... he says he gets a lot of encouragement from residents he runs into one-on-one.

Dunkirk still waiting for confirmation on transition aid to stem loss of NRG PILOT...

The State budget was approved in April, but Dunkirk City School District officials are still waiting for official confirmation that the district will be getting a share of the transition aid that's been included in the spending plan. That's the word from School Superintendent Gary Cerne, who says they have been in touch with State Senator Cathy Young's office.  NRG notified local officials about a significant reduction in the payment in lieu of tax agreement following the moth-balling of the Dunkirk power station... so Cerne says it's "up in the air."  Earlier this week... Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas noted that he's had conversations with Senator Young who reassured him about the funding.  Cerne says that District Business Manager Will Thiel will  continue to stay in touch with state officials about the matter.  The school district, the city and the county have applied for the special funding that would cover up to 80-percent of the PILOT from NRG in the coming fiscal year.

Two Falconer residents hurt in Warren Co. Motorcycle accident...

Two Falconer residents were hurt -- and one had possible serious injuries -- after the motorcycle they were riding hit a tree stump last weekend... and, crashed.  State Police in Warren say the motorcycle... operated by 71 year-old Ernest Simmons... was southbound on Pleasant Drive in Watson Township about 2:20 p.m. last Saturday.  Troopers say Simmons lost control of the bike... and, it went off the road -- hit the stump -- and flipped over.  Police say the motorcycle landed on top of Simmons, and, his passenger, 74 year-old Bertha Simmons.  Both were taken to Warren General Hospital for treatment.  Ernest Simmons reportedly had serious injuries... Bertha had minor injuries.

State lawmakers look for pass legislation regarding Daily Fantasy Sports...

New York lawmakers have begun advancing legislation to regulate daily fantasy sports, which would enable thousands of people to resume playing.  Committees in the state Senate and Assembly with jurisdiction over gambling this week separately advanced bills that detail proposed registration fees for commercial operators and prohibitions against minors playing.  They would also bar contests based on collegiate or high school sports or horse racing.  Differences between the bills would have to be reconciled and passed.  The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn in two weeks.



Local News

WJTN Headlines for Fri., Apr. 9, 2021

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