Although there were questions asked, there were no fireworks Tuesday when the Dunkirk Common Council considered the lone resolution on the agenda, the hiring of the company to put on the city's annual July 4 fireworks display.
Mayor Anthony J. Dolce was authorized by council to execute a contract on behalf of the city with Zambelli Fireworks Internationale of New Castle, Pa., in the amount of $30,000 to put on the July 4 fireworks display. The resolution says $15,000 of the cost will be available through the city budget from an allotment to the Dunkirk Local Development Corpor-ation, which is running this year's event through its festival committee.
The questions were from Councilwoman-at-Large Stephanie Kiyak but were asked by Fourth Ward Councilwoman Stacy Szukala as Kiyak was attending a farmers market training session paid for by the Chautauqua County Health Network.
OBSERVER Photo by Gib Snyder
Third Ward Councilman Adelino Gonzalez looks on as Fourth Ward Councilwoman Stacy Szukala waits for an answer to a question about fireworks funding.
"The resolution states that there was $15,000 de-ducted from account 001-8020-4247-0000 (Dunkirk Local Development Corp-oration) allotment. Can you explain where the additional $15,000 will be deducted from?" Szukala asked.
"Yes councilwoman-at-large," Dolce joked. "I told her I was going to do that."
"As I brought it out last budget season, my goal was to move the Fourth of July into the festivals account. Money into the festivals, money back out to the festivals," Dolce explained. "Part of that was setting aside Fund I money for DLDC functions, operating expenses and festivals, $25,000 of that $50,000 is for festivals. So what you see on this resolution tonight is $15,000 of that $25,000 coming out of Fund I for money that was intended to go to the festivals account.
"The rest of the $15,000 will come from donations and vendor fees. So, we took out anything related to the Fourth of July from the city budget and moved it through festivals."
Szukala had a second question from Kiyak.
"Since there was $15,000 for fireworks but $30,000 authorized, if there was a shortfall coming from donations do you have a plan on where to take it from Fund I?" she asked. "And her concerns were just so that the general fund knows where it's coming from since council was already aware of the situation."
Dolce replied that adjustments would be made if needed.
"What I had stated was we would make adjustments to the other festivals so we would prioritize our festivals," the mayor added. "We're proposing that we run from Memorial Day just past Labor Day, so other adjustments can be made there if we do happen to fall short on the other $15,000."
Szukala had a question of her own related to the waterfront, funding for the Lake Front Boulevard seawall project, which she said she knows officials have been looking for grants and funding sources for the project.
"Do you know when we can expect a resolution to go forward if that doesn't go through? A time frame?" she asked.
Dolce replied that a meeting with Congressman Tom Reed's aide was held on Friday.
"It was a good meeting, but again, there's no guarantee of funds nor do I have a hard timeline as to when I'm ready to proceed," Dolce added. "What we will begin to do is start looking internally, because as I've stated before, I don't think this is something we can do on increased fees, whether it's rates or taxes. So I think we need to look real hard internally.
"It won't be easy to do, but I think we're all aware the seawall needs to be addressed, sooner rather than later."
In response to remarks from Third Ward Councilman Adelino Gonzalez, Department of Public Works Director Tony Gugino said the city was in good shape budget-wise with its road salt supplies and should be ready when November rolls around.
Gugino added third-shift workers were compiling a list of potholes to be filled temporarily with cold patch. Gugino urged residents to call 366-4411 and leave their name, date, time and the location of the potholes.
"This is cold patch but it's better than nothing until the hot patch," Gugino stated.
Dolce announced he will deliver his State of the City address on Friday, March 15 at 3 p.m. in the Dunkirk High School in the Large Group Instruction Room in the Administration Building.
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