City Council To Possibly Reinstate Riverfront Management Council

A Jamestown City Council advisory council may be reinstated this month to assist with matters along the Chadakoin River.

On Monday, Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, announced that he would like to reinstate the Riverfront Management Council. The 12-member council was originally created in 1997. Not only does Teresi want to restart the council, but he wants to expand its membership to 15 people.

He said the advisory council would assist City Council on all matters involving the reclamation, preservation, utilization, development, public access and management of the Chadakoin River within the city of Jamestown, and all other matters affecting the environment. The group would include a member of City Council; members of the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Commission; a representative from the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy; an official from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History; a member of the Jamestown Audubon Society and Sanctuary; a Jamestown High School faculty member and three student representatives; and three other citizen appointments. Members of the council would serve for a term of five years.

City Council will vote on the proposal during its next voting session on Monday, July 28.

In other business, during a Public Works Committee meeting prior to the work session, Peter Lombardi, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation deputy director, discussed a proposal for City Council to support sending a letter to the State Transportation Department about changes to East Second Street to make it more user-friendly for bicyclists and pedestrians. Lombardi said a study was done by Clark Patterson Lee in 2012 for the Chautauqua County Health Network through its Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play initiative. The study along East Second Street was done between Foote Avenue and Bowen Street. Lombardi said shared lane markings for bike riders and curb extensions to make pedestrian crossing safer could be added to East Second Street to improve safety. He said the letter would ask state officials to review the proposed options to determine if they are feasible for the state to incorporate during future highway projects along East Second Street, which is considered a state route.

Joseph Bellitto, city comptroller, gave a first-half financial report during the work session. Bellitto said revenues are $75,000 more than budgeted thanks to the payment in lieu of taxes from the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, which had increased profits in its electric division. The comptroller said the city hasn’t received its second-quarter sales tax revenue from the state yet. He said city officials should get it during the first part of August. During the first quarter of the year, the city received about $20,000 less than it budgeted for the first three months of the year.

Bellitto said the city is in a better position this year with overtime for the Public Works Department. He said this year it is at 45 percent at the end of the second-quarter. Last year, overtime for the department was at 54 percent.

He said one problem for the city is health insurance is so far higher through the first-half of the year than it has been the last two years. Also, the comptroller added city officials have started working on the 2015 budget, and he expects another difficult financial planning process.