ARPA Program Expansion On Council Agenda

An expansion of two ARPA-funded programs is on the agenda for Monday’s City Council work session.

The full council work session begins at 7:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers in City Hall and will include a presentation by Gina Paradis, director of the Chautauqua County Land Bank.

Individual committees will meet before the full work session. The Housing Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the fourth floor police training room. At 7 p.m., the Finance Committee meets in the mayor’s fourth floor conference room, the Public Safety Committee meets in the fourth floor police training room and the Public Works Committee meets in the Development Department conference room.

Council members on the Finance Committee will discuss using an additional $1 million on the Building and Property Infrastructure Improvements program to be administered through the Jamestown Local Development Corporation by the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency. The business program was originally to be a $1 million program but was trimmed to $500,000 by the council. So many requests from businesses were received during the original grant period that city officials are asking the council for an additional million dollars to reach more businesses.

The council is also going to discuss an additional $2 million for the Roof, Private Sewer Lateral, Private Water Line Repair/Replacement Program. That program was originally funded with $750,000, but the city received 131 submissions that far surpassed the budgeted amount.

The agenda for Monday’s City Council meeting includes possible discussion of the 19-a program. City officials propose spending $750,000 in federal stimulus money to acquire vacant properties, rehabilitate them and then grant them to individuals or families who agree to live in the properties for at least five years.

“Utilizing the 19A program, the city will acquire vacant properties across the city,” the project description included in the council’s work session agenda states. “As per the requirements of the statute, these properties will have at least one actionable code enforcement violation. Working with non-profit partners across the city, these houses will be rehabbed either directly from these ARPA funds or via the enrollment of the new owner in the HUD-funded HOME Program, and/or a combination of city and partner agency funding. At an estimated cost of $22,500 per property, the city will be able to do 33 properties with the initial funding requested here.”

Thus far, four properties have been identified as possible 19-a projects. A home at 20 Johnson St. needs an estimated $6,000 to $12,000 in repairs. Doing the work would increase the assessed value of the property from $42,000 to $51,447. Another property at 49 Utica St. needs between $7,500 and $10,000 in repairs while a home at 71 Barker St. needs between $24,000 and $34,000 in work before it can be sold. The last home is at 810 N. Main St. and needs between $28,000 and $42,000 of work before it can be sold.

Finance Committee members will also discuss a $300,000 proposal to use ARPA stimulus money to rebrand and market the city. The proposal includes developing a market position and messages for Jamestown’s bran, create an identity and tagline for the brand and logos, develop a brand campaign and launch a media campaign and to design a branding campaign website.


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