The state's budget deadline is just days away and no agreements have yet been worked out between Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders.
State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, who represents all of Chautauqua County, says time is running out. Goodell says primarily non-financial issues seem to be holding up the process, such as criminal justice reform and workers comp reform.
The 150th District Assemblyman is still hopeful of having an on-time budget. He believes the final, 152-billion dollar spending plan could be done by late Friday morning after what could be a "round the clock" session.
Among the main proposals Governor Cuomo is pushing for is tuition-free college for lower and middle income students... however, a proposal to boost tuition assistance has been gaining traction.
Concerned residents from Jamestown's north side near the area where five arson fires were set early last weekend say they want to see a public-private housing project move forward.
Some Spring Street residents say the 12 to 13-million dollar Jackson-Spring housing development proposed by a Buffalo developer and Citizen's Opportunity for Development and Equality will eliminate eight vacant homes in that area.
Darrell Sisak of 824 Spring Street spoke at Monday night's City Council meeting. He says vacant homes attract drug dealers and users and fire bugs. Another resident Donald Paine of 872 Spring again voiced his support for the CODE project in light of a letter from the Gebbie Foundation last December that voiced concern over the project and, that it would not improve the city's housing issues.
Paine called on State Senator Cathy Young and city officials to move the Jackson-Spring project moving forward. He says "we want this now more than ever." Paine held the letter from the Gebbie to Young which states the Jackson-Spring "will not help in rejuvenating the city."
City leaders remain staunchly behind the proposal to bring 36-units of new housing to Jamestown's northside.
That from Mayor Sam Teresi who says he appreciates the neighborhood support voiced Monday night for the Jackson-Spring housing development. Teresi emphasized that this is NOT government-subsidized housing it is private investment.
Teresi says it's great to see someone willing to come and invest in clean, afforable housing that will improve the neighborhood similar to what's happened at Euclid Gardens and the Wellman Building downtown. He says the city council has enthusiastically supported the development headed up locally by CODE Inc. and, NRP of Buffalo.
Teresi says they hope the state will "favorably review' the application for the state tax credits that will help finance the local project. He adds they and CODE are awaiting word on what is happening with those tax credits.
CODE officials say some of the Jackson-Spring housing development would also be available for disabled residents.
Two Westfield residents have been arrested for allegedly operating a methamphetamine lab inside their Portage Street apartment.
Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force responded to citizen complaints about suspected Meth production at 63 South Portage Street and the apartment was raided early Tuesday afternoon. Prior to that Task Force members say they and Westfield Police seized a quantity of items on the property used to make Meth.
As a result police got a search warrant for the apartment and arrest warrants for the two occupants. They were identified as 48 year-old John Buzcek-the-third, and 47 year-old Julie Warren.
Task Force members arrested Buzcek at the scene and found Warren at another location in the village. Both were arraigned on two counts each of third-degree unlawful manufacture of Methamphetime and sent to the Chautauqua County Jail on $50,000 bail each.
The state Police C-SERT Teeam was also called in to help remediate the scene, and gather evidence. Authorities continue to ask for the support of community members when they observe suspicious or narcotics related activity in their neighborhoods by calling either 800-344-8702 or 363-0313.
Chautauqua County's population has now fallen below 130,000 according to the latest Census figures.
The new figures were released earlier this week by the U-S Census Bureau and shows the county continuing it's downward trend between July of 2015 and July 2016.
The bureau's figures show that Chautauqua County's population dropped from 130,811 in 2015 to 129,504. That's a drop of 1,307.
That's a 1% loss, placing Chautauqua County among the largest percentage population declines among the state's 62 counties.
Hamilton County had the largest percentage drop at 3.3%, followed by Jefferson County at 2.8%, Delaware County at 1.2%. Tioga County tied Chautauqua County with a one-percent decline.
Overall the Census Bureau reports the state had a net migration loss of 73-thousand people between July of 2015 and 2016.
Jamestown Teachers are taking on a 'formidable' opponent in a basketball game tonight as they play a game to support a local charity.
Jamestown High School Government Studies teacher, Tony Dolce, says the game will begin at 7 PM at McElrath Gymnasium. Doors open at 6:30. Dolce also mentioned that it would be members of the Jamestown Police Department playing the Teachers.
The Alex Foulk Foundation has been chosen as the Battle of the Classes charity this year. The Foulk foundation supports recovering addicts with transitional housing and help in returning to jobs and family.
Tony Dolce also says there will be other events happening within the next two weeks to support this fund through the "Battle" at JHS... but, adds the basketball game has always been the biggest event.
More information about the Foulk Fund can be found at the Chautauqua Regional community foundation or on their website CRCFOnline.org