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Virus Closes City Playgrounds, Basketball Courts

With warmer weather leading more people to city parks despite the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak, city officials will be roping off playgrounds and basketball courts.

On Monday during the Jamestown City Council voting session meeting, Eddie Sundquist, Jamestown mayor, announced that starting today playground equipment and basketball courts at city parks will be off limits, but the parks will still be open.

“I’ve directed park staff to close all playground equipment and basketball courts in the city of Jamestown,” Sundquist said. “With the weather getting better, we saw more people using playground equipment and that’s one way to spread (COVID-19). In an effort to reduce the spread, we’re closing the playground equipment and basketball courts.”

Sundquist said the the playground equipment and basketball courts will be roped off and there will be signage instructing people to avoid the area.

“In addition, I’ve instructed the police Chief (Harry Snellings) to do spot checks to ensure compliance,” Sundquist said.

In other business, the council approved a resolution to assist several local businesses during the pandemic by granting a temporary freeze of loan repayments to the Jamestown Local Development Corp.

The proposal will assist 11 local businesses while they deal with the impact of the pandemic. The businesses include Gialy’s, Jamestown Rental Properties, Nouveau, Nate Enterprises, Crown Street Roasting Company, Shults Real Estate, International Ordinance Technologies, Thurston Development, HH Jamestown, Jamestown Brewing Company and Chop House on Main.

Anthony Dolce, council president, said given the circumstances with businesses having to close, with some just providing takeout options, that the loan payments should be froze.

“Many businesses and restaurants are closed indefinitely. Even the ones still doing takeout don’t have the business they usually have,” Dolce said. “Anything we can do to help local businesses is important.”

The council also passed a resolution to make adjustments to the Community Development Block Grant and HOME programs. Dolce said the changes will assist property owners with applying for funding for home renovations.

“Now given the circumstances (with COVID-19), people will be struggling even more with home improvement costs with the loss of employment. We need to make these funds more accessible for the residents of Jamestown,” Dolce said.

The council approved a resolution to hire L.C. Whitford Co. for a culvert rehabilitation project on Steele Street. Last week, Jeff Lehman, city public works director, said the project will take place near Tanner’s Garage. He said the funding for the project, which is estimated to cost around $193,000, will be paid for through the state’s Bridge NY program.

The council approved hiring R. Patti Concrete & Excavating for a streetscape reconstruction project on Van Buren Street, between Prendergast and Lakeview avenues, in an amount not to exceed $96,816. The project is being paid for by federal Community Development Block Grant funding.

Lehman said the project will consist of improving the brick street, sidewalks, curbs and gutters.

Dolce announced that the work session meeting for the council scheduled for April 6 has been canceled. The next work session of the council will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 20.

Also, the live stream of the council voting session meeting Monday didn’t work because of technical difficulties, Sundquist said. He said a video of the meeting will be posted to the city’s website at jamestownny.net/live.

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