‘Good News’

City Council members unanimously passed all resolutions that were brought before them Monday, including several that have been discussed in recent weeks that will help the city in big ways.

The council approved a resolution that will authorize Mayor Sam Teresi to accept the “Assistance to Firefighters” grant from FEMA, which will award the city $464,364 to be used for the purchase of a new pumper truck and a new ambulance for the Jamestown Fire Department.

“This is obviously good news,” said Tony Dolce, R-Ward 2. “To have this type of opportunity to be able to go out and purchase the new pumper as well as the new ambulance, it’s certainly a great opportunity for us to replace some badly needed equipment.”

Deputy Fire Chief Chet Harvey echoed Dolce’s sentiments, saying that being awarded the grant was “unbelievable,” and calling the entire situation “great news” for both the fire department and the citizens of Jamestown.

“Now the work starts for us,” said Harvey. “We have to start putting together a lot of research to figure out what to buy and how to spec the trucks out. We have a year to do this, and generally there is a seven-to-nine-month build time on any truck anyway, so we’re really scrambling right now to come up with bid specifications. It has to be a competitive bid – we can’t just go out and buy any truck that we want, we have to write a general specification to match the truck that we want. It’s pretty complicated. It’s a little bit easier (with the ambulance) because it’s not as complicated as a custom engine, but we still have to look out for the interests of the tax payers in the city.”

Council members also approved a resolution that authorized Teresi to execute documents accepting a piece of property from the Gebbie Foundation that will allow for the extension of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk on the north side of the Chadakoin River.

“I just want to say thank you to the Gebbie Foundation,” said Dolce. “This allows the city to continue the project on that side of the river as they continue to develop the Riverwalk.”

Before the Gebbie Foundation offered the parcel of land to the city, a roadblock had been reached with officials unsure of how the work on the north side of the river would continue. The newly acquired property, however, will allow the city to extend the Riverwalk to a point across from Panzarella Park, where a pedestrian bridge will eventually connect the north and south banks of the river.

“We got good news from the Gebbie Foundation that they got some land that they are going to convey to us, as well as give us a ($19,000) grant so that we can continue to build the Riverwalk system,” said Greg Rabb, D-President, At-Large. “It has taken time, but we’re doing it slowly, and we’re doing it right. We really appreciate the support of Gebbie because without them this couldn’t be done.”

According to Rabb, as long as the weather cooperates, the extension to the Riverwalk will likely be completed during the upcoming construction season.

“It’s only April, and right now the weather seems to be cooperating, so I think we’ll see it done,” said Rabb. “I don’t know what percentage of the Riverwalk is complete because it’s always been done in stages, dependent on whether we could get the land or whether we could get the money, but this is a significant step forward.