Land Bank Looks To Partner With City Council

The Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation is looking to partner with the Jamestown City Council in the future to help both entities achieve their goals.

Several months ago, Peter Lombardi, executive director of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, came to the City Council to speak about the CCLBC and the progress that it is making as it starts its first year of real action. Afterwards, Paul Whitford, D-Ward 4, asked Lombardi to prepare a resolution that would ask the City Council to support the mission of the CCLBC.

The resolution that was presented to the Housing Committee last week primarily states that the CCLBC supports the language in the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan and the plan for a “liveable community” that was adopted by the city in 2010.

“Many of the goals of the land bank are embedded in those documents,” said Lombardi. “The resolution also calls for partnerships between the land bank and the city. We want to think about how the land bank and the city can compete together for resources that might be available from the state as well as other resources that will support the work of the land bank.”

Chautauqua County is home to one of five land banks in New York state, with others in Erie, Onondaga and Schenectady counties, as well as the town of Newburg. That number, however, is expected to increase in the future.

“The resolution also calls for the identification of opportunities that will allow resources to be paired between the land bank and the city,” Lombardi continued. “The land bank will be starting off with seed money from the Chautauqua County Housing Trust Fund in hopes of developing a sustainable revenue stream from the sale of properties around the county. The land bank will be looking for opportunities to pair its resources with the city when it comes to demolition of the most unsalvagable properties or developing properties that have the potential to help turn around an entire block.”

Development Director Vince DeJoy was also in attendance when the resolution was brought before the Housing Committee. DeJoy, who only recently took over as the director of development for the city, looked at this resolution as a step forward for both the city and the land bank.

“I concur with Mr. Lombardi’s comments,” said DeJoy. “I think we’re fortunate that we’re one of the few places in New York state to have this, and I like the collaboration. It’s not just a city effort, but a countywide effort, and I think this will really help us to push forward our revitalization plans. It can only be a good thing. I’m looking forward to making a contribution and working with Mr. Lombardi and all of the other agencies. This resolution is nothing but good from our perspective at the Department of Development and the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency.”

The resolution was moved on to the Public Safety Committee for approval, which passed it unanimously. The resolution will be brought before the City Council for a vote later this month.