JAMESTOWN – The proposal to sell the Jamestown Wastewater Treatment Plant in an attempt to raise capital for infrastructure and equipment costs took another step forward on Tuesday.
The Jamestown Post-Journal is reporting that the Jamestown Local Development Corporation approved a resolution to start the process. The resolution comes on the heels of the Jamestown City Council giving unanimous approval to a similar proposal on Monday night.
The resolution by the JLDC board reportedly includes 12 conditions for the possible sale, with one being that such action would provide funding for public facilities and services, as well as assuring a balanced annual city budgets for at least five years.
The move is being proposed by Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi in an effort to raise millions of dollars in capital to be used to address aging infrastructure in the wastewater service system, as well as pay for much needed new equipment and vehicles. Some of the money would also go into a tax stabilization plan.
Under the proposal, the city would sell the plant – which is operated by the Board of Public Utilities – to the JLDC, which primarily services as a lending agency to assist businesses in the community. The JLDC would take out a multi-million dollar bonds to pay for the plant, and would pay off the bonds using wastewater fees collected by the BPU.
- VIEW CAPITAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND EQUIPMENT PROGRAM (PRESENTED DEC. 4)
- LISTEN TO WRFA’S INTERVIEW WITH MAYOR REGARDING WASTEWATER PLANT PROPOSAL
Several community members and business leaders have criticized the plan, saying it places the city’s growing financial challenges on the shoulders of the ratepayers both in and outside of the city.
The wastewater plant is located in the town of Poland and valued between $18 and $20 million. The proposed sale would reportedly not affect the property tax payments the city makes to the town or the Falconer School District.
If the sale is approved by officials from the city, JLDC, and BPU – it will likely be challenged in court, with the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier already hiring a Rochester-based law firm as counsel.
City officials say it could take weeks or even months before the final proposal to sell the plant is drawn up and acted on.