City Council Moves Forward With Bond Refinancing

Refinancing a bond from the construction of the Main and Cherry street parking garage ramps will save the city $1.4 million.

On Monday, Joe Bellitto, Jamestown comptroller, said during a Jamestown City Council work session that by refinancing a bond from the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency the city will save around $82,000 a year. The original bond was from 2004 and the term will end in 2030.

”The cost of interest back then was substantial more than it is now,” Bellitto said to The Post-Journal Monday. ”We are looking to refund these bonds to issue them at a lower interest rate.”

Bellitto said in December 2012, the City Council had passed a resolution to refinance the bond for a lower interest rate. The new interest rate will be about 2 percent lower than the original. However, the state’s Comptroller office insisted some of the wording for the resolution needed to be changed. So the City Council passed the new resolution to meet the legal request from state officials.

”This is one more hurdle to be done,” Bellitto said to the City Council.

In other business; Bob Wright from the state Office of Real Property Tax Service spoke to council members about property owners needing to re-register for the basic STAR program. Wright said because some property owners registered for the tax exemption on more than one property, which is not allowed, people will need to re-register to receive the STAR rebate in 2014. Wright said people have received a letter from state officials stating the need to re-apply for the program. He said the deadline to re-apply is Dec. 31. He said people will need to re-register over the phone or on the Internet by visiting the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance’s website at www.tax.ny.gov to re-apply.

”It is pretty painless to go on the site and do that,” he said about re-registering.

Wright said if people don’t re-apply by the deadline, they could lose their tax exemption for 2014.

Tim Mains, Jamestown Public School District superintendent, introduced himself to City Council members during the work session. Main said he has spent more than 40 years in all facets of the education system in Rochester before being hired as the new superintendent for Jamestown. Main said he wanted the job in Jamestown because he wants the task of improving student performance and graduation rates.

”These are the challenges we’re going to wrestle with,” he said. ”I was looking for a place to work and lead where there is a challenge.”

Main said he wants the school district to be connected to all community entities in the Jamestown area, including city government. He said he understands the job of representing city residents because he spent 20 years as a Rochester councilman.