Planning Panel Chairman Wants Funds To Go To Infrastructure | News, Sports, Jobs

“Critical infrastructure” is how the Jamestown Planning Commission chairman believes the city’s stimulus funding should be spent.

On Tuesday during a Jamestown Planning Commission meeting, Greg Rabb, city planning commission chairman, said as much of the $28 million the city will be receiving through the American Recovery Plan Act should go toward infrastructure and capital projects. He said during his 10 years as the Jamestown City Council chairman, annually department heads would submit requests for the purchase of new equipment and vehicles, but because of the city’s fiscal troubles they weren’t able to purchase most of the requested items.

“It seems we’re always playing behind,” he said.

Rabb said last week, as Jamestown Board of Public Utilities chairman, he requested a list of BPU projects that need to be done from David Leathers, BPU chairman. Rabb said he received the list yesterday, which includes several projects totaling around $10 million. Some of the projects included water main replacements estimated at a cost of about $2 million, wastewater slip-lining improvements for a proposed $1 million and replacements and upgrades for the fueling station that are projected to cost between $750,000 to $1.25 million.

“A lot of these projects need to get done,” said Michael Laurin, commission member.

Rabb said he would like to see a similar list of projects and capital purchases from city department heads.

“If we could get these projects done, we could put the city in a position of real growth,” he said. “This is a real opportunity for us to get ahead.”

John LaMancuso, commission member, said it will be important to talk to city department heads to find out what their needs are too. Rabb said he will talk to the council Finance Committee, which is chaired by Kim Ecklund, At-Large councilwoman, at a future meeting about recommending that stimulus funding goes toward infrastructure and capital projects.

In other business, the commission approved a site plan for an addition to the NAPA store located along Washington Street. Project spokesmen said for the 4,765-square-foot addition, two dilapidated houses along Washington Street will be demolished. They also said during the project that new asphalt will be added to the parking lot along Washington Street, which will be the new area for large trucks to unload cargo. Currently, large trucks are unloading cargo while parked along 11th Street, which has led to neighbors complaining about the noise.

The commission approved the site plan with the contingency that the variance request for a shorter front setback is approved by the Jamestown Zoning Board of Appeals.

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