Wendel touts successes, cites challenges in annual address

OBSERVER Photo by Gregory Bacon County Executive PJ Wendel gives his State of the County address at the Chautauqua County Legislature meeting.

MAYVILLE — County Executive PJ Wendel believes Chautauqua County is in a good place and will continue to be moving forward.

During Wednesday’s county Legislature meeting, Wendel issued his annual State of the County address. While the 18-minute speech didn’t specify any new programs, he did highlight a number of economic priorities for his administration.

“My administration plans to invest in our workforce, in our infrastructure, in our communities, and in our economy,” he said.

Wendel highlighted how the county’s general fund balance is at $19.4 million. “This contribution is created by holding our teams to a fiscally responsible budget, an increase of the tax foreclosure auction, an overdue settlement of the tribal compact, and as well as continued success in our sales tax revenue,” he said.

Wendel noted how the county has reduced the tax rate of 71 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation over the last two years, but still contributing to the county’s fund balance. “These actions were taken with purpose as we are entering a time of high inflation, increasing interest rates and pending recession. I remain committed to holding financial stability during any economic crisis,” he said.

Wendel continued to highlight the county’s economy, stating that in the past three years 1,123 new business licenses have been issued and also that over the past year alone, the county Industrial Development Agency has reported 50 approved projects, with a combined $501 million investment.

“These committed investments will create nearly 300 jobs, retain an additional 774 jobs, and will create construction projects throughout our county,” he said.


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