City Council Approves Grant Applications For More Downtown Projects
With several multimillion dollar projects already ongoing in downtown Jamestown, a few more could be happening in the urban core if awarded state funding.
On Monday, the Jamestown City Council approved a resolution to submit a Consolidated Funding Application through the state Regional Economic Development Council program for the acquisition of riverfront development property. The resolution doesn’t state how much city officials are applying for in funding, but there is $150,000,000 available through Empire State Development’s Regional Council Capital Fund.
This is not the first time city officials have applied to the state for funding for the initiative to relocate Chautauqua Brick to redevelop the current industrial site into a more suitable waterfront recreation location. In 2017, the project was one of the 12 the Local Planning Committee for the state Downtown Revitalization Initiative had submitted to the state for a share of the $10 million program. However, even though 10 projects were approved for the city’s DRI program, the $1.4 million initiative to acquire property for riverfront redevelopment wasn’t selected by state officials to receive funding.
When the DRI Local Planning Committee selected projects for a share of the $10 million in funding, state officials said projects not approved for the program should apply for CFA funding, said Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, earlier this month.
UNITE NORTH MAIN STREET
In other business, the council passed a support resolution for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation to receive a $390,000 state grant to renovate six buildings between Sixth and Eighth streets. The rehabilitation project will be the second Unite North Main Street initiative, following last year’s pilot projects when Elegant Edibles, Emmanuel Temple Church and a private residence received matching funds to improve the exterior of their facilities.
The Unite North Main Revitalization Project is part of a comprehensive, proactive approach the Jamestown community has taken toward redeveloping and revitalizing the city. The project was started in October 2015 when the JRC hired Clark Patterson Lee to perform a study on the North Main Street corridor.
According to a letter sent by Lisa Hatch, JRC executive director, to city officials, the buildings proposed to be refurbished include Anxiom, Cadili’s Tavern, Lockwood Insurance Agency, White Daisy, Marcos Piazza/Family Video and a commercial and residential space located a 1 E. Sixth St.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be around $515,000, Hatch stated. Each building owner has to fund a 25 percent match for their project. Each project has a spending limit of $50,000, unless it also includes residential unit improvements, which allows for an additional $25,000 in spending.
The council also approved applying for a $500,000 New York Main Street Downtown Anchor Project grant through the Consolidated Funding Application through the state Regional Economic Development Council program for the renovations to the former Marine Midland Bank. The funding is going to help Arnold Duke renovate his second bank project in downtown Jamestown. He is also rehabilitating the former Key Bank Building.
Duke, who received a $500,000 Restore New York Communities Initiative program grant last year to assist with renovations to the former Key Bank Building, has plans on renovating the former Marine Midland Bank, located at 201-203 N. Main St., into the Jamestown Emporium.
Last month, Lori Galster of Galster Enterprises Inc., who is helping facilitate both renovation projects, said Duke is looking to host several retail businesses vendors inside the former bank, which will include Duke’s very own jewelry store. Duke is the president of the International Gem & Jewelry Show.
Galster said Duke closed on the purchase of the building in May and wants to have the building renovated and occupied within the next year. She said the emporium will feature boutiques and artisan vendors. She added that renovations will include fixing the roof, replacing the windows, adding Americans With Disabilities Act building access and restrooms. The building also has a basement, which could be used for additional vendors or storage.
The council approved accepting a $100,000 state grant through the State and Municipal Facilities Program to demolish two downtown buildings that have been a source of concern since emergency situations. The funding will go toward demolishing 24 N. Main St. and 8 E. Second St.
Last June, a fire occurred at 24 N. Main St., which is next to the railroad overpass in downtown Jamestown. Since the fire, city officials have researched ways to either stabilize the structure, which is next to the Arcade Building, or tear it down. Last summer, C&S Engineers Inc. was hired by the Gebbie Foundation to create a condition assessment report.
As for 8 N. Main St., the building has needed to be torn down since the emergency demolition of 10-12 E. Second St. in November 2016. On Oct. 20, 2016, the building located at 10-12 E. Second St. had a partial roof collapse, which necessitated the emergency demolition.
Earlier this month, Vince DeJoy, city development director, said city officials received the grant with assistance from state Assemblyman Andy Goodell, R-N.Y. He said even with the $100,000 grant, they will still need to use some funds from the city’s demolition budget to tear down the buildings.
CDBG, HOME ACTION PLAN
The council also approved the 2018 Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership programs action plan. City officials will be receiving $1,158,549 in CDBG funding, an increase of $102,337, or 9 percent, compared to 2017. The city’s HOME funding will be $326,751, an increase of $96,520, or 30 percent, compared to last year.
Earlier this month, DeJoy said the plan includes funding the United Christian Advocacy Network $100,000 for structural repairs to masonry and to paint the exterior of the building. He said the Jamestown Renaissance Center is also funding the UCAN City Mission renovation project $20,000. He added the total cost for rehabilitating the facility is between $125,000-$135,000.
DeJoy said the CDBG action plan also includes $110,000 for the North Main Street corridor owner-occupied rehabilitation program. He said additional CDBG funding would go toward addressing housing code violations, both exterior and interior. The funding will also go toward improving electric, plumbing, heating and structural issues to houses along the corridor.
NEW SILVERADO PURCHASE
The council approved the purchase of a new Chevrolet Silverado truck for the Public Works Department. Earlier this month, Tom Nelson, Ward 6 councilman, said he received a letter from Patrick Monaghan, city fleet manager, who wrote about the need for a new truck. Monaghan stated in his letter that recently the Public Works and Parks departments had lost the use of three trucks. He wrote the situation is dire if the departments doesn’t purchase a new truck.
Nelson discussed a bid for around $31,747 for a new Chevrolet Silverado. Jeff Lehman, city public works director, said the purchase of the truck would be a necessary “shot in the arm” for the crews in both departments.
The council approved the use of $31,747 from their contingency account for the new truck.