City To Apply For State Financial Assistance Program

On Monday, the Jamestown City Council officially asked for financial restructuring assistance from the state.

Earlier this month, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi discussed the new state Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments during a City Council work session. Teresi said the new board was established in the state budget earlier this year as a voluntary program to assist municipalities by reviewing their finances and operating techniques.

If the city is approved for the new state program, the board will undertake a comprehensive review of the municipality’s finances and operations and then recommend ways to improve its fiscal stability and the delivery of public services. If recommendations made by the board are accepted, up to $5 million per municipality will also be available.

Teresi said if the 10-member review board, headed by Robert Megna, state budgeting director, does assist Jamestown, all recommendations made are voluntary to accept. City officials do not have to accept any recommendations from the group, however, if they don’t they will not be eligible for any state money to implement new operating and financial management techniques.

On Monday, Anthony Dolce, Ward 2 councilman, said the Financial Restructuring Board for Local Governments is not a control board that makes decisions to improve city finances. It is a nonbinding board advising city officials on how to possibly operate more efficiently.

In other City Council business; the group approved a contract with Hanson Sign Companies of Falconer for the purchase of kiosks, printed maps and pole banners. The purchasing of the items is part of an $84,500 state grant, which is being matched by the Gebbie Foundation, to implement the final stage of a branding marketing campaign for the city. City Council will be voting to approve $13,260 for five kiosks and 10 maps and $25,958 for 238 pole banners and 167 hanging brackets.

The items will be placed downtown to advertise local attractions like the Robert H. Jackson Center; Fenton History Center; Lucy Desi Center For Comedy; Reg Lenna Center for the Arts; Roger Tory Peterson Institute; Audubon Center and Sanctuary; and Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.

Earlier this month, Vince DeJoy, city development director, said the purchase of the banners, kiosks and maps goes with the Jamestown Up Close branding campaign that started in 2008. For more information about Jamestown Up Close, visit www.jamestownupclose.com.

City Council approved home rule legislation to go to the state Senate and Assembly for approval to raise the amount charged for copies of birth and death certificates. The city charges $10 now, but wants the price to be at the same rate the state gets, which is $30.

Earlier this month, Teresi said most people who purchase the copies of birth and death certificates are from outside the area. He said the increase would raise $50,000 to $60,000 more a year for the city.

City Council approved a $20,000 matching grant from the Lenna Foundation for Veteran’s Memorial Park. The Veteran’s Memorial Commission is in the stretch run to accomplish their goal of raising close to $150,000 for the proposed Veteran’s Memorial Park. The park, which is located along Logan Avenue on the west side of Jamestown next to Third Street, will recognize all veteran organizations and to honor all military personnel who served during U.S. conflicts and wars. So far, the group has raised $95,985, with $51,865 still needing to be raised. For more information on the fundraising or the park, contact Ronald Cotten at 664-0762. The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation is handling the tax-deductible donations toward the park. To find out more, visit www.crcfonline.org. Tax-deductible donations may be made to the Veterans Memorial Commission Relocation Fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, 418 Spring St., Jamestown, NY 14701.