Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to renewed interest in the Furniture Mart building in downtown Jamestown. The City Council recently lent its support to a $1.5 million grant application by the Gebbie Foundation to breathe new life into the iconic building. Vince DeJoy, city development director, said the development team that was apart of the first attempt, Ellicott Development, will not play a role in the second redevelopment try. He said several regional developers have been approached about the plan for a mixed-use commercial building, which, according to the resolution, will include an adjacent multi-level parking facility, with more than 300 spaces, and residential living units in the 172,000 square-foot, nine-story structure. DeJoy said the Gebbie Foundation doesn’t own the Furniture Mart building, but they’re working with owner, Arthur Bailey, on the project. The building is located on the corner of West Second and Washington streets. The Furniture Mart was once a key part of a thriving downtown Jamestown. If this project comes to fruition, it will fill that role once again.

Thumbs down to the theft of equipment from the 10,000 Maniacs downtown practice space. While some of the items have been recovered in the days since the theft, it’s unfortunate that not even the most famous and well-meaning of Jamestown’s arts establishment aren’t immune from people looking to make a quick buck. The 10,000 Maniacs have performed countless charity concerts and benefit concerts over their history, with members also occupying important arts-related posts in Jamestown. This week’s theft is depressing on many levels.

Thumbs up to the city’s enforcement of its own open burning regulations. An increase in the number of illegal fires within city limits has prompted the Jamestown Fire Department to remind area residents that campfires are prohibited year-round. the citywide ban includes the burning of brush, leaves, construction debris and household items. The fires are dangerous in the city because they can spread if not properly maintained or cause injuries. They also can be a nuisance to neighboring homes with children or senior citizens with breathing issues who don’t need to breathing in a brush or garbage fire. The city has been clear over the years that such fires violate the city’s code, yet it has not really enforced the law. Those who violate the City Code and put their neighbors at risk absolutely should receive an appearance ticket for Jamestown City Court.