Every year, Mayor Sam Teresi and the City Council must pick through a vast sea of capital project requests.
It may be a drop in the bucket, but the council is mulling a $1,000,000 bond that will help ensure at least a small portion of the projects are funded in 2013.
Finance Committee members met Monday to discuss the authorization for $1,000,000 in bond anticipation notes to be issued to finance various items in the budget. The Finance Committee unanimously approved a resolution for the borrowing. The entire council will vote on the resolution at its voting session on Nov. 26.
According to Teresi, a resolution was passed earlier this year authorizing the purchase of $600,000 in radio equipment for the Police Department, Fire Department and Department of Public Works, which made up a large portion of the $1,000,000 in borrowing.
"There was a federal mandate through the FCC that comes Dec. 31; if we haven't gone to narrow band radio, we go dark," said Teresi. "We're off the air."
Teresi said the deadline for the transition to narrow band radio had been extended in the past when the funding wasn't available. Chautauqua County was also pursuing grant funding from the state to help pay for creation of a countywide radio system.
"A couple of months ago it got to a point where it became clear that the government wasn't going to extend the deadline anymore, the county wasn't going to be able to get the grant money for a larger system and Jamestown was left on its own," said Teresi. "Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings, Jamestown Fire Chief Chet Harvey and Jeff Lehman, director of the Department of Public Works, had been including this radio system in their capital budget requests for years. It had been continuously bumped because we were waiting to see how things would pan out. It got to the point where we couldn't wait any longer and we had to make the jump. This equipment is a reasonable thing to borrow for using bond anticipation notes because the life of the equipment is going to outlast the time it's going to take to pay off the loans. That's a reasonable way and purpose to borrow for things that are needed."
The remaining $400,000 in bond anticipation notes is being designated for use purchasing new equipment for the Department of Public Works and the Parks Department. According to Lehman, the city will be looking to replace several pieces of equipment that are in the greatest need, including a 2006 Elgin-Sterling sweeper truck, a 1999 New Holland Backhoe, and a 2003 Jacobson HR5111 rotary mower. The most costly of all the equipment, the sweeper truck, will cost an estimated $260,000 to replace. The replacement backhoe was quoted at $80,000 and the replacement mower was quoted at $60,000.
"These items are the three most critical large items that we need to replace and they will be replaced using the bond anticipation notes," said Lehman. "We have two mowers now that are in need of replacement, but in trying to stay under that million dollar number, we went with the one that needed it the most. The prices that we've been given include the amount that would be received from trade-in on the old equipment."
According to Lehman, these are estimated prices the Department of Public Works was given by the dealers. The Department of Public Works is anticipating going out to bid on the sweeper, while the other two pieces of equipment will most likely come through state contracts.