It's school budget... and, board election day in Chautauqua County... and, across New York state. The first district in the Jamestown-area to hold voting is Southwestern... which has an initial round of voting from 7 to 9 AM. School Superintendent Maureen Donahue says the board had to make some very difficult decisions to bring the 26.1-million dollar spending plan in under the state's 2-percent property tax cap. Donahue says what hurt Southwestern was they got a very low percentage of their Gap Eliminiation Adjustment restored by the state when their aid was determined. In fact... Donahue says that's less than 15-percent of the total. She adds they're still about one-million dollars short of where they should be in basic Foundation Aid. Despite that... Donahue says they were able to keep the tax levy increase below the state cap. She says they could have had an increase of 3.47-percent... but, their increase is 2.74-percent. That means a simple majority of "yes" votes will be needed to pass the 2014-2015 spending plan. After the early round of voting... residents can vote at Southwestern from 2 to 9 PM in the High School Lobby. In addition... Donahue says three people will be running for three, full-term board seats. They include incumbants David Turnbull... and Kurt Gustafson... and, newcomer Cynthia McFadden.
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says he has made his choice... and, will be introducing a new Administrative Director and Chief Executive Officer of the county's Industrial Development Agency this week. While he will wait to announce his selection... Horrigan Monday talked about the process he used to find the new director. Current IDA Director Bill Daly... who has held the position for the past eight years... is retiring at the end of next week. Horrigan says he was prepared to make an interim appointment, but says the search did not have to be extended. He says he didn't want to rush making a choice because he needs "the right person..." and, he feels good that they have found that person. The new IDA Director will also serve as the county's director of Planning and Economic Development. Horrigan says he'll make the announcement this Wednesday at 5 PM in Mayville.
City lawmakers have unanimously approved a 1.5-million dollar project to renovate and upgrade the food service area at Jamestown Community College's Hamilton Collegiate Center. The City Council last night unanimously approved the measure. JCC Vice-President for Administration John Garfoot recently told council members that JCC is still working with an area built in 1962 to handle feeding about 400 people a week. Garfoot says their numbers have grown about eight-fold in that time. Garfoot says the project would renovate three main areas... food preparation, food delivery, and consumption. He adds that a lot of their refrigeration, freezer, and oven units are old... and, they lose a lot of food because it can't be kept or cooked at proper temperatures. He says they asked an architectural firm to draw up an estimate... which came to about 1.54-million dollars. Garfoot says Chautauqua County officials agreed last year to pay 25-percent of the project. He adds the State University of New York agreed to have the project put into the final state budget. New York will pick-up 50-percent of the cost... and, Garfoot adds they'll be approaching Cattaraugus County about the other 25-percent. While the city of Jamestown is still a sponsor... he says the city won't have to pick up any of the costs.
A 16 year-old male student at Cassadaga Valley Central School has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of two bottles of a narcotic drug prescribed for another youth. Sheriff's officers say the 16 year-old... who's from Sinclairville... was arrested last Wednesday on one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance. The teen was arrested... and, issued appearance tickets for Gerry Town Court.
A Jamestown man found guilty of being involved in operating a Methamphetime Lab in the city last October has been sentenced to state prison time. District Attorney David Foley says 38 year-old Phillip Reichardt received 2-and-a-half years in prison during sentencing in Chautauqua County Court today. Foley says Reichardt also received 2-years post-release supervision on a charge of third-degree unlawful manufacturing of Methamphetime. In addition... a north county man was sentenced to 4 to 8 years for allegedly setting fire to a building in Dunkirk. Foley says 55 year-old James Moreland was convicted of one count of third-degree Arson in the case.
One of two bills being introduced by Chautauqua County's representative in Congress would provide funding to help the county... and, it's municipalities... deal with Chautauqua Lake's invasive weed problem. Corning Republican Tom Reed says he and Florida Democrat Patrick Murphy are co-sponsoring the Impaired Waters Improvement Act. Reed says the legislation will provide federal dollars to help localities deal with burdensome regulations laid down by the "Total Maximum Daily Load" regulations for phospherous, and other chemicals. Reed says the TMDL standards came from regulations dealing with the Chesapeake Bay watershed area. He says the mandates are being pushed down to the local level... and, he says he and Murphy want to make sure the "burden is being recognized..." and, that the U-S Environmental Protection Agency is put in position to address them with the necessary resources.