City Council Approves JCC Project, Sale Of President’s House

Jamestown Community College has the consent of Jamestown City Council to renovate its food service area and to sell the former president’s house.

On Monday, City Council passed the two resolutions giving JCC officials the go-ahead with their plans. John Garfoot, Jamestown Community College vice president of administration, told City Council members earlier this month the food service area at the Hamilton Collegiate Center was constructed in 1962 to handle feeding about 400 people a week. The food service area was renovated in 1985, but with more than 3,000 students, 210 full-time staff and 340 residential beds on campus, the food service area has exceed its original service intent.

Garfoot said three areas need to be addressed: the food preparation, food delivery and consumption areas. He said the kitchen has old ovens that don’t hold accurate temperatures and poor food storage areas that leads to some items being discarded. Garfoot said the project is estimated to cost $1,540,000. He said JCC has already received 25 percent from Chautauqua County and 50 percent from the state. He said they will be approaching Cattaraugus County in the upcoming weeks, as well. The city will make no monetary contribution to JCC for the project.

City Council also gave permission to JCC officials to sell the president’s house, located at 636 Windsor St. It was decided before Greg Decinque announced he would retire as JCC president last year that the home would be sold once he did. Garfoot said JCC officials expect to get between $180,000 to $200,000 for the property. He said three families have already shown interest in buying the property. Garfoot said Tom Turner of Century 21 Turner Brokers is the real estate agent handling the deal.

In other council business; the group approved supporting a state law to put more pressure on mortgage companies and financial institutions to maintain delinquent properties. Earlier this month, Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, and Vince DeJoy, city development director, discussed the Abandoned Properties Neighborhood Relief Act of 2014. Teresi said the law will assist city officials in cleaning up ”zombie properties.” He said the act would establish a statewide abandoned property registry; ensure financial institutions and mortgage companies report abandoned properties; a statewide hotline for residents to report abandoned properties; and require financial institutions and mortgage companies to notify homeowners that they can stay until a court order removes them from the house, which should help with the house being maintained during the foreclosure process. DeJoy said the city has been asking state officials for a registry to make it easier to find information on abandoned houses.

City Council also approved two new neighborhood watch programs for Dearborn and Lafayette streets.