City Projects, Future Touted By Hochul During Visit

New York State Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul at the Jamestown Gateway Train Station Friday presenting the State of the State speech. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

With so many ongoing development projects and improvement initiatives, Jamestown has a bright future.

That was the message delivered by Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul as she spoke at the Jamestown Gateway Train Station Friday. Hochul highlighted the local development projects that are ongoing in Jamestown, like the National Comedy Center. Hochul again announced the $5 million proposal for the National Comedy Center project that was included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $162 million state budget. She also mentioned the inclusion of $2.5 million in the governor’s budget for the city of Jamestown for economic stability.

Hochul said with projects like the National Comedy Center, which has already received more than $4.3 million from the state through the Regional Economic Development Council program; the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative; and the $1 million Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative, there is a lot happening in Jamestown.

”You really have all that it takes to make a great life here,” she said.

Hochul said the governor and herself believe the National Comedy Center project is a ”game changer” for Jamestown and Western New York. Earlier this month while speaking at the University of Buffalo, Cuomo announced his proposal to fund $5 million toward the National Comedy Center for gap funding to ensure the project will be completed.

”Let’s show the world how much fun Jamestown is,” Hochul said.

The National Comedy Center is a nonprofit that embodies Lucille Ball’s vision for her hometown of Jamestown. The team of stakeholders in the National Comedy Center project includes the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy; the Gebbie Foundation; the Oishei Foundation; the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation, Lenna Foundation and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. The visitor experience has been designed by world-renown creative firms Jack Rouse Associates and interactive specialist Local Projects. Clark Patterson Lee is the lead architect for the project. E.E. Austin & Son of Falconer are the contractors for the entrance building and connector. AECOM Technical Services Inc. provided the economic feasibility analysis that projects the center will have a $23 million annual economic impact on the region, which will result in an estimated 114,000 visitors each year.

The National Comedy Center is designed to be a national attraction based on the celebration of comedy: the craft and its contributors, and embodies Lucille Ball’s vision for her hometown of Jamestown.

Hochul also talked about several other initiatives in Cuomo’s state budget, like the Buffalo Billion Squared project and the budget proposal to include $163 million to fund tuition-free college at state schools for children of families making $125,000 or less.