Chagnon Still Concerned Over County Fund Balances

MAYVILLE – It was a tense start to Thursday morning’s Audit and Control Committee meeting.

From the beginning, Pierre Chagnon, R-Bemus Point, made it clear he would not be voting in favor of certain resolutions involving federal funding not already budgeted for.

The first resolution involved providing a county share of $150,000 in return for federal funding for Jamestown’s Lucy Trail, which will connect Jamestown and Celoron along Jones and Gifford Avenue.

“This is a project that was not budgeted for, and I have reservations with that,” Chagnon said, further suggesting the resolution be delayed until next year’s budget. “I’m concerned with the precipitous balance of the A Fund.”

“A Fund” is an umbrella term covering several accounts within the county budget, including the capital reserves fund.

George Spanos, director of public facilities, and other legislators confirmed to Chagnon that federal funding is only available for so long, and must be acted upon in a time-sensitive manner.

Chagnon voted against the resolution.

Next, a resolution was discussed to designate funds for an apron reconstruction project at the Dunkirk Airport. An apron is a stretch of land where aircrafts are parked, near the runway.

“I know airports are not our favorite topic of discussion,” Spanos said. “But because the Federal Aviation Administration is offering, you take it when you’re offered.”

The county’s share is $54,220, or 5 percent of the total cost of the project. The federal funding is expected to amount to $975,960, with the remainder paid for by state aid.

County Executive Vince Horrigan said the project was necessary for safe travel of pilots in and out of the airport.

“If I understand, a study on the financial feasibility of the airports will be completed, correct?” asked Terry Niebel, R-Sheridan, which Horrigan confirmed.

John Garfoot, vice president of administration at Jamestown Community College, attended the meeting to inform legislators about the sale of the president’s former residence.

Seeing as how the county is one of many capitally invested in the institution, legislature approval is needed to authorize JCC to effectuate the divestment of the property at a sales price estimated to be as low as $120,000, not including closing and other related costs.

Garfoot said the anticipated sale price is $180,000, and three families are currently interested in the property, which consists of an approximately 6,700-square-foot house the college has determined is no longer useful.

All resolutions must be voted on and approved by the full legislature, which will hold its regular meeting on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the legislative chambers of the Gerace Office Building.