Legislators May Reappropriate Bed Tax Money For Power Boat Race

MAYVILLE — County legislators will be discussing the reappropriation of bed tax money for the upcoming power boat race in Dunkirk.

According to the agenda for the County Legislature’s Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Mayville, legislators will be discussing the proposal to reappropriate $12,000 in bed tax money that was originally appropriated for the Dunkirk Air Show. However, because there will be no air show this year, a proposal has been made to reappropriate the $12,000 for the Dunkirk Offshore Powerboat Racing Event.

Also, the proposal, which was requested by County Executive George Borrello and Robert Bankoski and Kevin Muldowney, legislators from Dunkirk, would allocate $20,500 in reserve bed tax funding toward the powerboat racing event. If approved, 3 percent occupancy tax reserve funds will be used, which was created to promote tourism in the county. According to the resolution, there is $126,258 in the 3 percent occupancy tax reserve fund.

Last month, organizers of the powerboat race discussed the details and logistics with Dunkirk city officials. Larry Bleil, Race World Offshore chief executive officer, discussed the waterfront event that will occur Aug. 17-19. The boats will begin showing up earlier in the race week and be staged on the property near the Clarion Hotel Marina and Conference Center on Lake Shore Drive East. The boats will then be transported to the city pier to be placed into the water by crane.

Sunday’s races will take place with the pier being the start and finish lines. Boaters will head east about 2 miles before returning to the pier. Preliminary races will start at noon for two racing classes. The finale is slated to start at 2 p.m.

In other committee business, the legislators will also be discussing the proposal to appropriate $5,000 in 2 percent occupancy tax reserves toward a proposal to develop the Lake Erie waterfront. The Northern Chautauqua County Community Foundation’s Local Economic Development Committee has applied for a $35,000 grant from the state Local Waterfront Revitalization Program to hire a consultant to determine the economic impact of three Lake Erie harbors — Barcelona, Dunkirk and Cattaraugus Creek — and the entire waterfront. According to the resolution, the economic impact analysis would support the effort to operate and maintain the harbors and the waterfront. The analysis would also support and encourage economic development and private investment. Officials from Dunkirk, Hanover and Westfield are also partners in the proposal.

According to the resolution, there is $232,382 in the 2 percent bed tax reserve fund, which is used for the protection of the lake.

County legislators will also be discussing the State Environmental Quality Review for the projects selected to receive 2 percent occupancy tax funds next year. The projects include the Lake Erie Tributary-Knight Vineyards, which will receive $27,565; shorelands, which will receive $20,000; Goose Creek geiger, which will receive $28,082; Maple Springs rehab, which will receive $24,750; Tupper Creek, which will receive $40,000; boat stewardship, which will receive $39,972; Scott Creek-Sheridan, which will receive $17,115; and Canadaway Creek-Hurtgen, which will receive $26,640.