City Council Intern Presents Rental Property Registration Findings

Jamestown City Council has additional information when deciding whether to register and license residential rental properties.

On Monday, Olivia Ames, Jamestown Community College student and Jamestown City Council intern, delivered a report detailing the pros and cons of registering and licensing residential rental properties in the city during a City Council Housing Committee meeting. Ames used newspaper reports on Niagara Falls and Lockport, a filed lawsuits in Glen Cove and newspaper report and an interview with a landlord in Erie, Pa., for her report.

Ames concludes that these cities experienced more adverse effects than what was originally intended by passing laws to register and license residential rental properties. She said the law could be expensive for cities, the rental property owners and tenants.

”This may be a proposal that appears to be helpful and safe, but when compared to cities that have already tried similar ordinances, the unintended consequences could be adverse to the best interest of the community,” she said.

Ames is a student of Gregory Rabb, City Council president and JCC professor. She did the paper under Rabb’s guidance as a government internship coordinator at JCC.

”This gives us more information to guide us for any discussions in the future,” Rabb said.

In other City Council business, Joseph Bellitto, city comptroller, reported the city received $1,324,000 in sales tax revenue during the first-quarter. This is around 23 percent of what was budgeted in the city’s 2014 fiscal plan. Bellitto said it was about $20,000 less than what the city received during the first-quarter last year. He said the city received less than 25 percent of projected year-end sales tax revenues in the first-quarter last year too. However, he said by the end of 2013, the city did receive the amount of sales tax revenues projected in the budget. He said hopefully that will happen again in 2014.

The Downtown Jamestown Farmers Market will be in a new location this summer. For added room, the farmers market will be moving to Cherry Street between Second and Third streets starting Thursday, June 5.

New neighborhood watch programs were approved for Dearborn and Lafayette streets.

City Councilman Brent Sheldon, Ward 1, asked about the possibility of a free rabies clinic in the city. He said the last one was held in 2009. He said the event could be cosponsored by the city and county, with Jamestown supplying volunteers and the insurance and Chautauqua County providing the veterinarian and equipment. He said the event could possibly be held in July.