Around a dozen people attended the first public input session on the City of Jamestown’s proposed master plan for how to spend $28 million dollars in American Rescue Plan funding.
Only several people spoke at the presentation, including resident Doug Champ, who expressed concern over long-term maintenance for proposed park projects like a splash pad, “I think that goes for anything you do in public facilities. It’s nice to spend the money down and they will come and use it, but what happens when the money’s all gone. Are we going to have the ability to keep it? That’s the question that should be on every single public facility project you do – ‘What are we going to do when the money runs out?'”
Mayor Eddie Sundquist said while the city cannot set aside money for an endowment for projects, it can build into the cost of building a project the funding needed to maintain new structures.
Resident Ellen Ditonto, who also is running for City-Council-At-Large, said she believes more than $1.4 million dollars should be dedicated to housing improvements, “Without a plan to commit major assistance to our local property owners, we will continue to face the degradation of our neighborhoods. Painting programs, incentives for external repairs, and a commitment to rigorous enforcement of code violations can all make a difference in the overall appearance and upkeep of our neighborhoods.”
She also said the city should focus economic development funding on creating more shovel-ready sites for companies looking to relocate or expand.
Pete Miraglia thought some funding should be used toward bringing four-year degree and advanced degree educational programs to the city, “Because that would directly support local industry and businesses. And if this was something the city would want to pursue, obviously you’d have to get out there and start talking to these businesses and industries, you know, Cummins, SKF. And the problem and issue has just been highlighted by the loss of Truck-Lite recently. I mean, they moved over to Pennsylvania, to Erie, to take advantage of the electronics programs that are offered there.”
Mayor Sundquist said while they don’t have an exact timeline for when the plan will be finalized and submitted to City Council for approval but it would definitely be before the executive budget is presented on October 8th.
People may still submit comments on the plan at three public input sessions scheduled for 10am tomorrow at the James Prendergast Library, 7pm, Tuesday, July 27th at The Chautauqua Center, and 7pm, Thursday, July 29th at Emmanuel Baptist Church.
The plan can be viewed on the City’s website at jamestownny.gov/rescueplan.
Betsy Heimbuch says
Where can people submit their suggestions if they cannot get to one of the meetings?
To submit comments on the Master Plan please email firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail please address “Mayor’s Office” at 200 E. 3rd St. Jamestown, NY 14701.
Betsy Heimbuch says