The second-time was the charm for the Bemus Point Central School District Tuesday. Voters in the small, rural district approved a 2013-14, 13.1-million dollar spending plan by a wide margin, 601-to-440. While the margin of victory was not overwhelming... the overall numbers were for the small, rural district. District officials say one-thousand-42 people cast ballots on the spending plan... which was slightly revised from the one defeated back on May 21st. That budget was rejected by 12 votes.
Jamestown Community College's 2013-2014 budget was approved at yesterday's meeting of the college's board of trustees. JCC President Dr. Greg DeCinque says the 34.5-million dollar spending plan includes an 85-dollar tuition increase for full-time, in-state students. DeCinque adds the budget is 1.6-percent larger than the college's original 2012-2013 spending plan. He adds the budget includes just over 24-hundred dollars per full-time equivalent student in state aid... which includes a modest increase over last year. However... he says it doesn't make up for cuts absorbed since the 2009-10 school year.
There is a need to raise the salaries for some elected officials... but, county lawmakers must keep the taxpayers in mind in deciding what those are. Those are the feelings of Legislature Majority Leader Larry Barmore... who is also a member of the Administrative Services Committee. Barmore says the panel is recommending increasing the County Executive's annual salary to 100-thousand dollars... and, the clerk's to 62-thousand. He says both have stayed the same for nearly two decades... and, have lagged well behind most others in the state. The committee rejected increases for county legislators from 9-thousand dollars to 12-thousand a year. Barmore believes that when voters overwhelmingly approved downsizing the panel from 25 to 19... they also wanted lower costs. He says they also rejected an increase in the Sheriff's salary... but, adds they later decided on some recommendations that'll go to the entire legislature next week. The Salary Review Commission recommended about a 5-thousand dollar increase in the Sheriff's salary... beginning in 2015. The others would start next year.
One member of the Administrative Services Committee voted against all four proposed raises... even the amended ones. Committee Chairman Bob Scudder voted against the revised increases for County Executive and for County Clerk... but, not by the amounts recommended by the commission. Scudder says he made it clear how he felt on the issue. The committee took action to raise the County Executive's salary from 85-thousand to 100-thousand dollars. That's a smaller increase than the salary review commission's 109-thousand. The committee also voted to raise the County Clerk's salary to 62-thousand instead of the commission's recommendation of 68-thousand. The legislature's Audit and Control Committee is also expected to tackle the proposed salary increases later this week. The full county legislature will tackle the issue next week.
A Jamestown-area native has returned to the region... but, found it lacking in one service her son needs. That's why Kimberly Bailey-Ward has begun work to open The Rehabilitation Station on the second-floor of the former Federal Building at East Third Street and Prendergast Avenue. Bailey-Ward says the Rehabilitation Station will provide Applied Behavioral Analysis services to children with Autism... as well as problem behaviors. Those results were seen over the past decade in Texas and Oklahoma... where Bailey-Ward worked as an ABA Therapist. She says the focus of their program at 300 East Third Street will be on newborns to 5 years of age. Bailey-Ward says she wanted to come back to the area so her son, Dayton, could get to better know his grandparents. He was also diagnosed with Autism just before he turned 2. Bailey-Ward says she saw a real need in the community for such services when she couldn't find much herself. She'll be hosting a public announcement and Open House at the Willow Bay Conference Center on East Third Street this Thursday night at 6 PM.
The city of Jamestown's annual Summer Playground Program is set to start next week with the return of one program... and, a new Playground Program Coordinator. The free program begins next Monday, June 24th... and, continues Mondays through Fridays through August 2nd. City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says... thanks to a grant from the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County... they'll be providing a free lunch program at each of the programs six sites. The Joint Neighborhood Project had been administering the Summer program... but, JNP is closing it's doors on June 30th. The new Program Coordinator this year is Sarah Mott of Jamestown. This is Mott's sixth-year with the program... and, has an Associate's Degree in Childhood Education from Jamestown Community College. Ciesla-Hanley thanked the Summer Playground Programs several sponsors... adding that the city couldn't do it without them. All six sites will be open week-days from 9 AM to 5PM... and, it's for children ages 5 to 13. This years sites include Lincoln Elementary School... which is where yesterday's announcement was made. The others include Allen Park... Fletcher Elementary School... the Lillian Dickson Tot Lot... Johnson Street Tot Lot... and, Ring Elementary School. For more information... call 483-7523.