Executive Wendel Responds American Rescue Plan Act Spending Criticism

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MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County’s Executive says he is not going to get “bogged down in the weeds” as he takes criticism from two Mayors in the county about his American Rescue Plan Act spending outline.

County Executive PJ Wendel (R) is responding to Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist (D) and Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas (D) comments that they are frustrated his plan to spend $24.6 million allocated by the Federal Government doesn’t include projects in either of the County’s two largest population centers.

Both cities received American Rescue Plan money, with Jamestown getting more than $28 million and Dunkirk $11 million.

Wendel says he spoke with the Mayors prior to his spending plan’s passage on Wednesday, saying he holds monthly meetings will leadership from all towns, cities and villages countywide, where concerns could have been brought up.

“That monthly call was actually weekly, then bi-weekly, with every Mayor and supervisor in Chautauqua County, some participate, and some don’t,” said Wendel. “Unfortunately, the city Mayors have not been as engaged as other municipalities through their own belief or own prerogative, but every week and now every month, we have the discussions: What do you need help on? What do you need? At no time has anyone reached out to us.”

In addition to the ARPA funding, Wendel proposed his 2022 Executive Budget this week, featuring a tax cut with a property tax rate of $8.25 per $1,000 of assessed value; 26 cents less than the current rate.


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