JAMESTOWN – Mayor Eddie Sundquist is touting the city’s achievements as 2021 comes to a close.
In a statement, Major Sundquist said it was another trying year for city departments as the region continues dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our departments and workers rose to the challenge of the year and did great work” said Mayor Sundquist.
According to the Mayor, there has been an increase in community service and beat walking assignments within the Jamestown Police Department, with both property and violent crimes dropping in the city over the course of 2021. The department has hired several new officers including K9 Hope, a comfort dog who has assisted in more than 70 calls for victims of domestic violence.
Mayor Sunduqist also sent a word of praise to the Jamestown SWAT Team for receiving its certification from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, making the Jamestown unit one of only 27 teams in the state to earn this certification.
Jamestown’s Fire Department successfully transitioned to a brand new EMS billing system and new fire reporting software in 2021. The transition, Mayor Sundquist said, went with “incredible speed and accuracy.”
2021 also brought in the formation of a new Healthcare Committee, managed by the city’s finance department in partnership with City retirees, members of City Council, and other City Staff. The committee approved a Medicare Advantage Plan for city retirees with 136 individuals enrolling in the plan. According to Mayor Sundquist, the new healthcare plan will save the city over $200,000 a year and individuals over $1,500 a year in premium costs.
The city’s Department of Public Works dealt with an influx of infrastructure improvement projects over the past year, thanks to increased funds from the state. Those projects included installing over 5,800 feet of new sidewalk, 8,100 feet of new curbs, 90 new handicap ramps, over 18,000 feet of new road pavement, 57,000 feet of road surface treatment and maintenance coating, 2,300 gallons of liquid asphalt crack seal, 7,900 square feet of repaired brick pavement, 65 new driveway aprons, 1,400 feet of new storm sewer pipe, and 30 new and reconstructed Catch Basins and Drain Inlets.
Jamestown’s Department of Development dealt with continued housing related issues and has taken on a more active role in holding absentee landlords accountable through 19A and Zombie Property Law lawsuits, according to the mayor.
“The development office has also done more to connect with businesses in all industries by holding roundtables with various business sectors and non-profits in Jamestown, in addition to beginning a project to map resources available to businesses in the area to encourage entrepreneurship” said Mayor Sundquist.
The department also helped to bring in more than $2 million in grants to facilitate local development projects.
Moving many of the city’s functions online has been a key part of city departments throughout 2021. The City Clerk and Treasurer offices recently transitioned to an online platform that would allow the option for payments of property taxes online.
The city was able to negotiate new contracts for many of the bargaining units, ensuring that the majority of city employees will continue to operate on a current contract.
The Jamestown Parks department installed a new playground at Lilian Dickson Park, as well as a myriad of other improvement projects to city parks.
City Hall worked to transition all city operations to a brand new software system in 2021 that allows departments to be more organized and responsive, and allow an easier access to information for city residents.
The City of Jamestown received more than $28 million dollars in American Rescue Plan Act funding in 2021. According to Major Sundquist, the organization and direct spending of these funds was created through a collaborative process with the Chautauqua Regional Community Foundation held with non-profits, businesses, and residents.