He's sorry about the late timing on the legislation... but, state Assemblyman Andy Goodell says language the proposed home rule legislation to renew the county's 2-percent occupancy tax is aimed at Chautauqua Lake... as well as the county's other lakes and tributaries. County legislators received the proposed legislation an hour or two before last night's session... causing considerable confusion and concern. Goodell says a lot of the delay is due to the end of session being about a month away. Goodell says he also got a lot of input from legislative leaders and local organizations. He says the language was changed to insure that funding goes for tourism and most of that activity occurs on the county's lakes and waterways. County lawmakers passed the emergency resolution by a 16 to 8 vote, but a special meeting of the legislature was scheduled for next Wednesday just in case legislators voted in favor of the measure should change their mind and rescind it.
There was a lot of confusion over home rule legislation that would renew the county's 2-percent bed tax that is used to maintain the county's waterways and lakes. The measure prepared by State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell reached the legislature only an hour or two before Wednesday night's session began. Fredonia Democrat Bill Coughlin feels the changes were designed to send more funding to Chautauqua Lake.
But... other legislators believe the changes would still allow the county to use funding for other lakes and waterways. Legislature Majority Leader Larry Barmore says it appears lawmakers have little choice. The measure passed. But... a special meeting of the Legislature may be held next Wednesday night... according to Chairman Jay Gould. He says County Attorney Steve Abdella will get more information from the county's state representatives over the next week. Legislators will then decide if they want to vote on rescinding the resolution during the special session.
The New York State Thruway Authority will halt construction on its roads around the state to make it easier for travelers this Memorial Day weekend. Starting Thursday... projects from Yonkers to Canajoharie and from Rochester to the Pennsylvania state line ceased operation. They'll restart on Tuesday, May 28th. Starting today... projects from Little Falls to Canandaigua will go quiet. Those road projects will start up again Monday night, May 27th. The authority also reminds motorists that a seatbelt enforcement action is ongoing and will be in full swing over the weekend.
County sheriffs across the state have asked to join the federal lawsuit challenging New York's tough new gun restrictions. They call some provisions vague and impossible to enforce fairly. The New York State Sheriffs' Association and five individual sheriffs are asking U.S. District Judge William Skretny to add their position to the record. They support gun rights advocates seeking to block enforcement of new bullet limits for magazines and the tighter definition of assault weapons. The sheriffs agree with the New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association that the law, passed after the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre, is unconstitutional because it will prevent citizens from keeping commonly used firearms for home defense. The law bans magazines with a capacity of more than 10 bullets and generally prohibits loading them with more than seven.
Ground has been broken on the latest phase of the city of Jamestown's Chadakoin Riverwalk project in the Brooklyn Square area. City officials were joined by Gebbie Foundation leaders on the property recently bought by the foundation on the northside of the river. The foundation is giving the city about one-thousand feet of property... to about 25 feet from the shoreline. The property starts at the Blackstone-Ney Ultrasonics building --- and goes west. Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi thanked the foundation for partnering in the effort. Teresi says the project will entail blacktopping the pathway... installing decorative lighting... stablizing the riverbank... and, putting in amenities... such as benches and picnic tables. Gebbie Foundation Executive Director John Merino says they're pleased to be part of the effort... because it ties in with their current focus on economic development projects. The Gebbie Foundation is also giving the city a 19-thousand dollar grant for the project... which will cost 244-thousand dollars. Jamestown is also getting a 112-thousand-500 dollar grant from the state's Environmental Protection Fund.