JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown City Council will hold its first voting session of 2017 Monday night with a full agenda, including the delivery of the mayor’s annual State of the City report. However, it remains to be seen if the report will be read aloud, or if it will simply be submitted to the council for its review.
The mayor is required by law to deliver a State of the City on an annual basis and since first taking office in 2000, Mayor Sam Teresi had traditionally read the report to the council during its first meeting of the year. However, he bucked tradition last year and opted to just hand the report to the council members without reading or even commenting on it. Teresi has not indicated how he plans to present the 2017 State of the City when the council convenes tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Along with various initiatives he has promoted in the past, the mayor is expected to highlight several new ones for 2017, including the annexation of a piece of property owned by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities and which lies in the town of Ellicott, adjacent to the city line, in order to save money on tax payments to the county, town of Ellicott, the Falconer School District and the village of Falconer. The initiative, which was first brought forward last week at the monthly BPU meeting, would save the BPU an estimated $162,000 a year.
On the housing front, the mayor will likely highlight the new tax abatement incentive program aimed at redeveloping vacant or condemned properties.
WRFA will provide details of the State of the City during our Tuesday morning news. We’ll also highlight the report during our Feb. 9 edition of Community Matters when we have our monthly interview with Mayor Teresi.
PUBLIC HEARING, ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS, AND HOUSING TAX ABATEMENT PROPOSAL HIGHLIGHT AGENDA
Prior to tonight’s city council voting session, a public hearing will take place at 7:15 p.m. involving the abandonment of a city alleyway. The unnamed alley is located on the city’s east side, between Lindsey and Woodlawn Avenues. Following the hearing, the council will vote on the abandonment during its scheduled voting session.
In addition, the council will act on a home rule legislation request to the State legislature, allowing the city to move forward with the above mentioned tax abatement incentive program.
The council will also act on three separate changes to the city city code.
One change involves an amendment prohibiting residential uses on the first floor of commercial buildings located within the downtown. According to city planning and research specialist Jeff Hollern, the proposed changes effect only the C-3 and C-4 zones of the city, so it is primarily the downtown core and Brooklyn Square.
“As far as we know, there are currently no conflictions with this new ordinance, but if there were they would be grandfathered in and would not have to comply,” Hollern explained in an email. “However, if an existing first-floor residential use in the area is vacant for more than one year, they are no longer eligible and would have to comply to the new code.”
Another amendment will deal with updating the city code as it pertains to towing vehicles from private property in the city. Under the proposed change, property owners will no longer have to call the city police department prior to having a vehicle towed and the police will no longer have to supervise the towing process. Instead, a property owners will be able to call the tow company, who is then required to inform police it is towing a vehicle and also let them know where it has been towed to.
The other change is in relation to updating the code on electronic message displays.
Monday’s city council meeting will begin at 7:15 p.m. with the public hearing and 7:30 p.m. for the voting session. Both will take place on the second floor of city hall and will be open to the public.