Possible Improvements To Chadakoin Park, Washington Streetscaping Could Be In City’s Future

An improved Chadakoin Park and calmer traffic along Washington Street could be improvements made to Jamestown through the Chadakoin River West Brownfield Opportunity Area program.

On Thursday, a public meeting led by the consultant team C&S Companies was held on the Chadakoin River West Brownfield Opportunity Area program, which is nearing completion of the nomination study. The Brownfield program is funded by a grant from the state Department of State.

The goal for the Brownfield nomination study is to create a plan for the city of Jamestown to strengthen the Chadakoin River West Brownfield Opportunity Area through the development of mixed land use and improved connectivity utilizing strategies that will encourage reinvestment and neighborhood enhancements with increased access to natural resources, said Samantha Herberger, C&S Companies project manager. She said some of the improvement projects for the Brownfield area include traffic calming and streetscaping for Washington Street and improvements to Chadakoin Park.

Herberger said one of the options to creating safer connections along Washington Street through streetscaping and traffic calming includes changing Washington Street from a four-lane highway into a two-lane highway with a turning lane. She said bicycle lanes or trees could also be added to improve traffic flow along Washington Street.

Crystal Surdyk of Joy Kuebler Landscape Architects said possible improvements to Chadakoin Park includes creating four zones — educational, active, gathering and multipurpose — within the park. Ideas for the park include creating a BMX bike track, a nature play area to highlight natural aspects of the park and a new playground. Surdyk said a park design committee has been formed to work on Chadakoin Park improvements.

Herberger said anyone who wants to make comment on the nomination study can by going online to surveymonkey.com/r/chadakoinriverwestboa or in writing to Department of Development, Third Floor, Municipal Building, 200 E. Third St., Jamestown, NY 14701. Comments need to be submitted by Aug. 1.

In addition, there was also a public meeting on the Community Development Block Grant funding. Jeff Hollern, city planning/special projects assistant, discussed the 2017 program for the city. Jamestown will be receiving $1,056,212 in CDBG funding and $230,231 for the HOME Investment Partnerships program.

Hollern said there will be a public hearing on the city’s CDBG plan Monday before Jamestown City Council’s monthly voting session meeting, which is held on the second floor of the Municipal Building, 200 E. Third St., at 7:30 p.m. He said anyone who wants to comment on the CDBG plan has until July 10.

In 2016, the city received $1,049,753 in CDBG funds and $255,519 for HOME. Each year, city officials develop an action plan to determine how to use the federal funding. Last year’s action plan included allocating 87.6 percent, or $739,802, of the active funds toward low-to-moderate benefit activities. Some of these activities include $219,802 for neighborhood target area infrastructure improvements; $150,000 for Americans with Disabilities Act improvements at public facilities; and $100,000 for neighborhood target area rental rehabilitation.

Other program allocations in the action plan include $95,000 for neighborhood target area demolition; $90,000 for downtown handicapped accessibility improvements; $55,000 for a target area code enforcement officer; and $30,000 for owner-occupied emergency repair program.

The remaining CDBG activity funds, 12.4 percent, was spent on slums and blight activities. Those activities include $100,000 for the target area greenlining facade improvement program and $5,000 for planning and technical assistance. CDBG funds, $204,951, also went toward administration and program delivery.

For the HOME program, $191,639 was spent on citywide owner-occupied rehabilitation projects; $38,328 toward a community housing development organization; and $25,552 toward administration and program delivery.

CDBG funding is provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. HUD officials have three purposes for the use of CDBG funding. First is to prevent or eliminate slums or blight, second is to benefit low-to-moderate-income residents and third is to meet a particular urgent need for the municipality. The CDBG program stipulates that at least 70 percent of funding must be used for low-to-moderate-income benefit activities, and no more than 30 percent of funds can be used for slums and blighted areas.