Jamestown City Council members are looking at using remaining American Rescue Plan funds to reduce a proposed capital improvement bond.
Council reviewed a proposal to bond for $6.9 million for improvements to City facilities.
The projects include $1.8 million to replace the Municipal Building Roof and do façade work; $400,000 for security enhancements, $350,000 for window replacements, $500,000 for a Bergman Park waterline replacement, $2 million toward the Fenton Mansion Roof repair, and $1 million complete for the new Central Fleet Garage on Washington Street.
Council member at large Jeff Russell questioned the bonding for the roof replacement on City Hall due to leaking issues, “Why weren’t we having extensive conversations on this a year, year and a half, two years ago when we had large sums of ARPA funding. I guess that if I had known it was that large of a problem, I would have been more concerned about that than splash pads or some of these other projects.”
Council member Marie Carrubba said she has brought up roof concerns many times in the past, “Why are we not taking care of this building, including the windows, including the roof, all of that, and the leaks? Go back and look. I’m just saying it’s been a thorn to me that when we’ve got money like this why we haven’t used it for these purposes because we have applied for grants but this building has been let go for far too long in terms of taking care of some of the issues.”
Mayor Eddie Sundquist said the extent of issues with the Municipal Building roof were not realized until an engineering study was completed that indicated a full replacement.
Council President Tony Dolce said if funding is allocated to the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy for Phase 2 of Chadakoin River work, there will be roughly $1.2 million remaining in ARPA funds, “There’s money left that has been allocated that hasn’t been spent to go through to see if there are other monies here available that could be, rather than ‘x’ out that program, whatever it is, we’re done. If there’s some money left in that to allocate that towards some of these projects and also the possibility of scaling it back. So, even if we have to bond, we can significantly reduce the total cost of the bond.”
Sundquist added the bond authorization is up to $6.9 million, meaning that the city doesn’t have to draw down all of those funds if not ultimately needed.