JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – Those with Jamestown City Council are still figuring out what to do with their dwindling ARPA funding. Now, officials are considering allocating some money to demolish dilapidated and condemned buildings.
Through a resolution allocating one million dollars in American Rescue Plan Act funds, the City of Jamestown, in tandem with the Chautauqua County Land Bank, would be able to start an initiative to demolish dilapidated houses.
As is, the city demolishes only a handful of properties each year, with each demolition costing tens of thousands of dollars.
Recently the Land Bank has had problems with funding, which worried Finance chair Kim Eckland. While not against demolition, she would rather seek alternatives to the Land Bank.
In the end, Council President Tony Dolce sees this as an opportunity for the city to get some real work done.
“My stance on this, I don’t care who does it or how we pay for it, it’s got to get done,“ explained President Dolce. “This is an opportunity, if we don’t spend the money on this, one way or the other, whichever is best, that’s fine. But this is our one time opportunity, instead of tearing down five, seven, eight , ten houses a year. We can really make a dent, and get some of these properties out of the way, so it really comes down to how you want to pay for it.”
Other council members added that run down properties could also be the target of unwanted vagrants “squatting” and, even worse, foster crimes like arson.