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County delays payment for Dunkirk dock removal

Chautauqua County is waiting before helping Dunkirk pay for some steel dock structures on the waterfront that were removed earlier this year.

During the county legislature meeting, Legislator Marcus Buchanan, D-Dunkirk asked that the proposed resolution for the county to spend $50,000 be referred back to committee.

Dunkirk had asked the county to help them cover the cost of the steel docks. Originally the city thought the removal was going to cost $12,000. Instead the bill ended up being $107,500.

City officials admitted they did not have a written contract with the contractor that removed the docks. The Lake Erie Management Commission originally agreed to pay the $12,000, but didn’t have the funds to pay the remaining balance.

Dunkirk requested the county use some of its occupancy tax reserves, since the docks’ improvements are considered tourism improvements.

The legislature unanimously agreed to refer the resolution back to committee for further review.

After the meeting Buchanan was asked about the decision.

“The county has some questions about the total cost. There was a miscommunication. Some things were mentioned before the meeting. They didn’t have all the information about it, so we want to give Dunkirk some time to gather everything they need, anything documented,” he said.

During the March committee discussions, Dunkirk said they were going to talk to the contractor and see if they could reduce the $107,000 bill. Buchanan said the county wants to know for certain what is due before they make any payments. “We never agreed to pay full price. We agreed to pay half the price,” he said.

In other business:

– The legislature authorized the extension of the agreement between the Portland-Pomfret-Dunkirk Sewer District and the village of Fredonia for sewage treatment services. The previous contract expired Dec. 31. This extension will be in place as negotiations continue.

– The legislature confirmed the user charges of the Portland-Pomfret-Dunkirk Sewer District. The base fee is increasing $42 per quarter per user.

– The legislature renewed its lease with Warwick Plaza, LLC for the Department of Mental Hygiene – Mobile Crisis Team office space. The county has agreed to pay $1,200 a month from April 1, 2024-March 31, 2026 for 1,120 square feet at 567 Fairmount Ave., Jamestown.

– The legislature set the salary for carpenter trainee at a Grade 8, which is $20.30-$26.11 per hour.

– The legislature set the salary for senior carpenter at a Grade 14, which is $24.30-$31.62 per hour.

– The legislature increased the salary grade for bridge construction supervisor and carpenter from Grade 14 to Grade 17. The salary range for a grade 14 ranges from $24.30 to $31.62, while Grade 17 ranges from $26.81 to $35.08.

– April was proclaimed Donate Life Month in Chautauqua County. County departments and agencies are encouraged to provide information on organ and tissue donations and enrolling in the New York State Donate Life Registry.

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