Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Nov. 9, 2021

City Council talks more on 2022 budget, but, makes no changes yet...
There was some discussion about Mayor Eddie Sundquist's proposed 2022 budget plan during last night's Jamestown City Council meeting... but, no changes have been proposed as yet.  That from Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund, who says there wasn't a full budget meeting because of the absence of some city officials.  There's only one more scheduled work session -- before the vote -- next Monday night.  Council President Tony Dolce says the public hearing is to be held on Friday, Nov. 19 at 6 p.m.  However... he asked it lawmakers wanted to have the hearing on the following Monday, Nov. 22, because there is no work session scheduled due to the Thanksgiving Holiday.  There was no decision on changing the schedule last night.  However... Ecklund says they still want any preliminary amendments by this coming Wednesday the 10th... prior to next week's work session.  The 2022 budget proposal totals $38.9-million, and uses about $3-million from the "lost revenue" catagory of the city's ARPA funding allocation of about $28-million.  The budget includes about a $130,000 increase in the tax levy... but, the tax rate remains $23.69 per $1,000 full value.  The final budget has to be in place by Dec. 1.  


Comptroller reports on another good quarter for Jamestown sales tax revenues...
The city of Jamestown had another strong sales tax report for the third-quarter of this year... and, now has 90% of it's budgeted amount already raised.  That from City Comptroller Ryan Thompson... who reported last night that the city took in $2.25-million in revenues for July through September.  Thompson says that's $271,000 more than last year... and, $327,000 more than in 2019.  With that... Thompson says the city has so far collected $6.1-million in sales tax revenues through the first three months of the year.  The fourth-quarter, with the holiday's approaching, typically is the city's strongest quarter of the year.  The city budgeted $6.7-million in sales tax proceeds for 2021.


Wendel identifying projects that could benefit from federal Infrastructure bill...
With President Joe Biden expected to sign the bi-partisan infrastructure bill into law next week... a top local, elected official is waiting for the details about how the funding can be used for projects in Chautauqua County.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says they have already identified some projects in the county that should benefit from the funding... including Phase-Two of the project to provide sewer service on the western side of Chautauqua Lake.  He adds there are also a couple of north county water projects that stand to benefit.  Wendel hopes that smaller counties don't miss out on the funding.  He fears that counties with larger populations will have the advantage... unless there is "direct funding" to those counties. 


Schumer announces nearly $800,000 in funding for both the Jamestown and Dunkirk Airports...
Chautauqua County's two airports will each receive $790,000 from the $1-trillion infrastructure bill approved by Congress last Friday night.  That from Senior U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York... who announced $937-million will be coming to airports in the state.  The Democratic Majority Leader says both the Jamestown and Dunkirk Airports will receive the nearly $800,000 each from the $25-billion in funding nationally.  Schumer says the largest funding amounts will go to Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports in New York City. 


Wendel looking forward to dealing with economic development, infrastructure needs over next four-years...
Improving Chautauqua County's infrastructure is one of the major goals of County Executive P.J. Wendel over his new. four-year term... which begins next Jan. 1.  The Lakewood Republican talked a little more on our "Community Spotlight" program about meeting with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's staff... and, says they urged them to go back and talk with local leaders about what they need.  He says they have begun talking with those leaders, and says they could spending $100-million "rather quickly."  He says economic development... especially coming out of the COVID Pandemic... is another area he and his administration plan to focus on... along with combating the opioid epidemic.  He says he was "very humbled" by the support he received on Election Day one week ago.  Last year... Wendel received 71% of the vote against Rich Morrisroe, and this year received 72% of the vote to Green's 23%.


Six more state prisons slated for closings in 2022...
Officials say six New York state correctional facilities will close next March in a cost-saving move amid declining inmate populations.  More than 1,700 people work at the six upstate New York facilities, and there are more than 1,400 inmates.  Inmates will be sent to other locations, and no layoffs are expected.  The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said it will work with unions to provide staffers at the facilities with transfer opportunities.  The facilities scheduled for closure March 10th are: Ogdensburg Correctional Facility, Moriah Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility, Willard Drug Treatment Campus, Southport Correctional Facility, Downstate Correctional Facility and Rochester Correctional Facility.


College Bomb Threat in NYS found to be "not credible..."
Officials say multiple bomb threats made over the weekend at Ivy League campuses were not credible.  Cornell, Columbia and Brown universities had alerted students to threats Sunday and deemed campuses safe a few hours later.  Evacuations were ordered in some buildings on the campuses.  Yale reported a bomb threat two days earlier that forced the evacuation of several buildings as well as nearby businesses in New Haven, Connecticut.  The university resumed normal campus activity Friday evening.


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