Jamestown City Council discussed the proposal to spend $500,000 on the West Third Street redesign project at its work session Monday night.
Council President Tony Dolce said there has been some confusion over the scope of the project. He said it’s not a street reconstruction but the replacement of curbs, sidewalks, driveway aprons, new lighting, and new trees, “A big chunk of the project is the movement of the backyard services, electrical services, to the front and burying them. So the question that I had earlier today was can the BPU not fund part of that and if not, why not? Since they were planning on, they’ve been talking about doing this in different parts of the city. This seems to be the opportune time to do it cause we’re doing the construction.”
Mayor Eddie Sundquist said they’ll look at the cost and get back to Dolce. Council Member Marie Carrubba, who sat on the BPU board until recently, said in the Council Finance Committee meeting that the BPU had been discussing moving the poles for the last two years.
Council member at large Jeff Russell said while the cost has been contentious to some, he sees the project as benefiting everyone in the city. He said while some think the people on the street are being shown “favoritism” he doesn’t see it that way, “I look at this as something that, in totality, it benefits the entire city, all the citizens. That’s a major artery [‘Coming in’ – Council member Bill Reynolds] and it’s been breathtaking over the years. It was sad that they [the trees] had to come down. It seems some of the same people who were complaining about the trees coming down are now complaining about the cost to replace that which is sad.”
Dolce added he supports the project and that this is the opportune time to do it.
The funding for the project would come from American Rescue Plan lost recovery monies.
Council also reviewed a resolution to use $100,000 in ARP funds to create a Sidewalk Replacement Rebate Program. The pilot program would be used to replace a blacktopped portion of a sidewalk with concrete where a damaged concrete block was taken out due to tree root damage. DPW Director Jeff Lehman said it would be a 50-50 match with the city paying $6 a square foot for the block replacement.
Mayor Sundquist announced that a special retreat work session of the City Council will be held this Wednesday. The meeting will take place at 6:00 p.m. at the Robert H. Jackson Center with discussion centering on American Rescue Plan projects. The meeting will not be livestreamed but is open to the public.