The Chautauqua County Legislature will vote next week on a just over $236-million, 2018 budget that reduces the tax rate by 4-cents per thousand full-value.
That from Audit and Control Committee Chairman Pierre Chagnon, who says his panel finalized proposed changes during Thursday's meeting. Chagnon says the committee did approve an additional $11,000 in savings after Sheriff Joe Gerace told them more about insurance needs for his department's helicopter.
However, Chagnon says that wasn't enough to lower the tax rate any further. County Executive Vince Horrigan has said, generally, that he has no problem with the committee's reductions.
Horrigan proposed a 10-cent increase to $8.58. However, Chagnon says the reductions drop the rate to $8.44. He believes there is "broad support" for the proposed changes.
The county budget, along with the legislature's amendments, will be voted on at next Wednesday night's meeting. Chagnon says the public will have a chance to comment on the spending plan during an earlier 2 p.m. Session and, the regular meeting at 6:30.
Two murder cases are moving foward in Chautauqua County.
District Attorney Patrick Swanson says the trial is about to get underway for 36-year-old Keith Robbins, who is accused of shooting his estranged wife, Sheri, to death in Jamestown last November.
Robbins is facing second degree murder and injuring a police animal charges. He is accused of stabbing City Police K-9 "Mitchell" during a six-hour standoff that led to his arrest.
Swanson expects the trial before Chautauqua County Court Judge David Foley to last about three to four weeks at the most. In another development, the District Attorney says a tentative date has been set for the trial of 28-year-old Rebecca Ruiz.
Ruiz's trial date is tentatively set for next March 6th. She faces a second degree murder charge in the shooting death of 21-year-old Julian Duman back in July. She was also indicted on second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with evidence.
Two law enforcement agencies in Chautauqua County are receiving a combined $100,000 from New York state to help bolster local drug enforcement efforts.
State Senator Cathy Young announced the grants, including one for $75,000 will go to the Sheriff's Office to fund some additional personnel for the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.
Sheriff Joe Gerace expressed his appreciation to Senator Young for obtaining the funding to fight the Heroin and Opioid Drug Abuse crisis locally. He says they will have five officers taking part.
The other $25,000 will go to the Jamestown Police Department to help with equipment purchases for the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force.
JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the funding will help provide the resources his officers need to "have the tools they need to combat the drug epidemic plaguing our community." Samuelson would only say the money will help buy needed equipment for their work.
New York state is getting $19-million in federal money to boost efforts to help those struggling with substance abuse.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the funding on Wednesday, some of which will go to three hospitals one of them in Chautauqua County, to help expand and enhance addiction treatment.
Cuomo says there will be a special focus on some medication-assisted treatment options and programs that help pregnant woman and new mothers dealing with substance abuse.
UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital will share in $5.7-million for it's medication-assisted treatment program. The Governor says addiction has torn too many families apart and that the state must do all it can to ensure those who need help have access to comprehensive treatment.
A city man was arrested on several charges after allegedly driving with three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system Wednesday night.
Jamestown police were called to the area of Foote Avenue for a possibly intoxicated male driving a vehicle. On arrival, officers say they observed the suspect, Jamie Davidson fail to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Newland Avenue and South Main Street.
Police say the 42 year-old also failed to use a turn signal and, turned into the wrong lane almost striking a parked car. Officers intiated a traffic stop where it was found that Davidson was operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol. He was taken to city jail pending arraignment.
Jamestown will soon be able to offer a program that gives people the incentive to buy and redevelop vacant and condemned properties in the city through a tax break.
Mayor Sam Teresi late Wednesday signed into law the Local Property Tax Abatement Incentive Redevelopment of Vacant and Condemned Properties program. City Development Director Vince DeJoy says he expects they'll have the program fully up and running before the end of the year.
DeJoy says there would be no city taxes taken the first three years on the property and, there will be 20-percent increments for year's 4 through 11. After the 11th year the property owner will pay full taxes on the property. He says they are working with the county right now the on details, including getting the proper paperwork in place.
DeJoy says both Chautauqua County and the Jamestown School District are interested in developing their own tax abatement program for owned-occupied vacant and condemned properties. The program was initially suggested by City Councilwoman Marie Carubba.
Metro New York City, Buffalo-Rochester, greater Syracuse and the Albany region are all in the running to win Amazon's second headquarters.
All four regions submitted formal bids for the $5 billion project before Thursday's deadline. All four take a regional approach, with the New York City proposal covering Long Island and suburban Westchester County as well.
Governor Andrew Cuomo's economic development head, Howard Zemsky, wouldn't reveal what financial incentives the state is ready to offer. But he says that when factors including transportation access, workforce, economy and quality of life are considered he expects New York to be among the strongest competitors.
Cities across the country and Canada were expected to submit bids to Amazon. The Seattle-based retail tech giant says the project could create up to 50,000 jobs.
A Jamestown man is facing charges after a domestic incident on the city's west-side yesterday afternoon.
City police say they responded to a Price Street residence for a reported domestic incident just after 4 p.m.. Following investigation, it was found that 26 year-old Johnathan Akers and the victim became involved in a verbal argument during which, Akers picked up a television and threw it through the rear window of a vehicle belonging to the victim. He was arrested and taken to City jail pending arraignment.