WJTN News Headlines

The city of Jamestown met -- and slightly exceeded -- it's projected sales tax revenues for the 2013 fiscal year despite the fourth-quarter coming in slightly below projections.  Comptroller Joe Bellitto reported the final figures to the City Council at last night's work session... saying the city received just over 5.78-million dollars in total sales taxes for last year.  Bellitto says they received just over 1.4-million dollars in the fourth quarter... which was a decrease of just over 8-thousand dollars from the fourth-quarter of 2012. Bellitto says the city continued to budget cautiously for the revenue item in 2014... boosting the total for this year to 5.815-million dollars.  He says that's a point-56-percent increase over 2013.  Typically... the city receives most of it's sales tax revenues in the third and fourth-quarters of the year.  However... Bellitto says they had stronger  second-quarters the past two years than fourth-quarters. The third-quarters were actually produced the most dollars in sales tax each of the past two years.  Last year... the figure was 1.59-million dollars... while it was 1.6-million in 2012.  Bellitto says they would like to see numbers increase on a yearly basis... but, adds the past two were at least "stable."


A key New York state lawmaker says he fears implementation of Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed property tax freeze would be a ``nightmare.''  State Senate Finance Committee Chairman John DeFrancisco raised the concern to the state's tax commissioner Monday during a hearing on the governor's budget proposal.  Cuomo's budget proposes tax rebates to homeowners who live in jurisdictions that stay within a 2-percent property tax cap.  DeFrancisco, a Syracuse Republican, says the break in the form of a personal income tax credit could confuse people.  Tax Commissioner Thomas Mattox tells lawmakers they are working to keep things as simple and efficient as possible for taxpayers.  The lawmakers are examining Cuomo's proposed 137.2-billion dollar budget for the fiscal year starting in April.


Chautauqua County's top-elected official is looking at possibly contracting out for the top-executive's position at the County Home in Dunkirk.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says the position... currently held by Tim Hellwig... will be filled.  It has to be by law.  However... Horrigan says he wants to make sure he gets a top-notch person to fill the post -- even though it may be temporary.  That's because the county legislature is to vote on selling the home later this month.  Even if that happens... it will take 15 to 18-months before the skilling nursing facility is completely turned over to the new owners. Horrigan also says that any change in administrator much meet with the approval of the state Health Department.  He says they're also looking at other supervisory options... but, can't go into detail on that as yet.  Horrigan says Hellwig will be leaving the position at the end of the month to take over as director of the Cattaraugus County nursing homes.


A public forum has been scheduled for tonight by the Jamestown School District to gather input on priorities for the district's 2014-2015 budget.  That from Superintendent Tim Mains... who says the session will get underway at 6:30 PM at the school board Conference Room at the District Offices.  Mains says this is something new for the district... and, will allow participants to offer their opinions about what programs work... and, which one's don't. Mains says they want input on such areas as the district's food service... and/or extra-curricular activities.  He adds the opinions... both good and bad... will be gathered... and, put together into a report following the meeting.  Mains adds that this session does NOT eliminate the required public hearing on the new budget... but, will provide the public a chance to provide more "meaningful" input than might be seen during a public hearing.  The budget forum will be held at the Jamestown District Offices on Martin Road from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. 


A U-S Marine Corps veteran from the Jamestown-area is preparing to make a cross-country walk to raise awareness about an organization that supports wounded veterans... and, their families.  Frewsburg's Josh Lydell says many of his service friends have been assisted by the Wounded Warrior Project... and, that's why he wants to do something to help them out.  Lydell will head to Charleston, South Carolina a week from yesterday to begin the approximately 28-hundred mile trek to San Francisco... and, he hopes to raise 100-thousand dollars for the organization. Lydell says they also help veteran's deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  He says he's been training for about four-months for the walk... which will take about 6 to 8 months to complete.  Lydell... who competed in sports in high school... says he's found the right footwear to keep him moving.  He adds there's already been some publicity about his walk... and, that's brought in some early donations... including one from the local Vietnam Veteran's Association.  Lydell says you can learn more by going to his facebook page -- "Joshua Lydell" -- or go on-line to 'woundedwarriorproject-dot-ORG...' and, go to the Individual events page.