Wendel makes pitch for new JCC field | News, Sports, Jobs – Evening Observer

  • September 10, 2022

Sep 10, 2022
SUNY Jamestown Community College is one step closer to getting a multi-million dollar soccer field.
Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel is going to be presenting his tentative budget later this month. The county Planning Board was provided an advanced list of proposed capital projects in Wendel’s tentative budget, which includes $941,500 for the county’s share of a new soccer field for JCC at the Jamestown campus. The soccer field would require state funds as well.
The entire project is expected to cost more than $4.6 million.
Every year, the county Planning Board develops a “capital projects list,” which prioritizes projects for the upcoming year. Neither the executive nor the county Legislature is required to follow the list. The advisory list is developed through hours of discussion and meetings between planning board members and various county departments.
The 2023’s Capital Budget and 2024-2028 report, which is 116 pages long, was presented to the county executive and legislature in June.
There were 48 projects listed in this year’s report. The first 11 projects were fully funded in Wendel’s proposed budget. They include:
¯ CARTS replacement buses, $50,677.
¯ Sheriff radio tower, $26,260.
¯ Barcelona to Chautauqua Institution trail development, $85,000.
¯ Dunkirk airport hanger bifold door, $140,000.
¯ Technical Rescue and HazMat vehicles and trailers, $22,000.
¯ Jamestown airport security cameras for terminal building, $12,000.
¯ Schmarmann Theatre — OCR compliance Phase II, $61,250.
¯ Geographic Information System upgrade, $124,000.
¯ Greenfield development for county Planning and Economic Development, $300,000.
¯ Scheduled storage server replacement for Sheriff’s Department, $151,794.
¯ Emergency Communications Information Technology Room HVAC, $75,000.
The 12th item on the county Planning Board list, which was not funded, was the court house elevator modifications for $234,900. A note on the list says New York state did not provide enough matching funds.
The 13th item was slightly lower than requested. Highways and bridges received $750,000 after requesting $757,503.
The 14th item, which was not funded, was another bifold door at the Dunkirk airport. This would have been $140,000.
The next major item not funded, which was ranked 17th, was to replace an ambulance for $240,000. A note says this will be included in the operating budget. Budget Director Kathleen Dennison said during the Planning Board meeting that the goal is for an ambulance to be paid through user fees and insurance.
“Emergency Services is planning to start doing more transports and the transport business would pay for the ambulance and the operating costs associated with it,” she said.
The most expensive item on the list was plow trucks for $1,228,000 for the county Public Facilities Department. It was ranked 29th and will be funded in Wendel’s budget.
The second-most expensive item on the list is $941,500 for JCC’s soccer field, which was ranked 37 out of 48 capital projects. It was the lowest project fully funded on the list.
Planning Board Chairman Doug Bowen said he was a little surprised the soccer field was on the list.
JCC President DeMarte has spoken to county officials multiple times this year saying a new soccer field will help draw international students to the college and will also bring more residential students to live in the college dorms.
Dennison said Wendel backs the project. “It is in the county executive’s budget,” she said. “He’s very keen on it. I support his enthusiasm because we think that JCC, after several years, has presented a pretty compelling argument that there’s an economic benefit to having that soccer field.”
According to Dennison, JCC can’t use high school fields because they’re not available when needed and the college just doesn’t have anywhere else to go.
She did note that the legislature has the final say. Legislators will hold budget reviews in early October.
Bowen praised Wendel for funding all of the requested projects by the Sheriff’s Department. “I’ve seen years that the sheriff’s projects were not funded. It seemed like they were always the first ones cut,” he said.
Projects that weren’t funded include $150,000 for commercial building demolition and environmental due diligence; $8,700 for a Dunkirk airport tractor; $72,000 for a Jamestown airport tractor; $235,000 for the Sheridan DPF parking lot; $84,000 for LED lighting at JCC; $55,000 for a welding truck; $200,000 for a heavy haul road tractor; $40,500 for Mayville campus bathroom updates (design phase); $80,000 for a sign truck; $35,000 for a 12 ton goose neck trailer; $18,000 for an ATV at the Jamestown airport; and $20,000 for an ATV at the Dunkirk airport.
Wendel is expected to present his proposed budget to the full legislature Sept. 28. Generally the legislature will adopt the budget during its October meeting. The adopted budget would then go back to Wendel for his veto or signature.
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