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Municipal consolidation funding is tremendous opportunity

Chautauqua County has cleared one hurdle in gaining a $50,000 grant in Phase 1 of Governor Cuomo’s Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition. Now it’s on to Phase 2, where the county is one of six finalists vying for a $20 million grant. This past week, Chautauqua County submitted an application for the funding, which carries with it a variety of consolidation projects.

County Executive Vince Horrigan entered office three and a half years ago with a vision to help streamline government in ways that would make a difference for property taxpayers. In 2016, he empaneled the county’s Regional Solutions Commission with an eye toward finding ways to improve services while also reducing costs. Comprised of county and local elected officials, and business, citizen and labor representatives, this advisory group has helped track regional initiatives and served as a liaison between local officials and New York Department of State, particularly with three recent village dissolution petitions. The Chamber is proud to be part of this commission, which has helped bring communities together toward the common goal of providing governmental services more efficiently and effectively. The County Legislature also recently approved a Government Reduction Initiative, which authorizes one-time local financial assistance following a successful dissolution or consolidation of a municipality within the county.

Chautauqua County’s application for the Phase 2 grant that includes 12 projects is a testament to these ongoing efforts to improve services and reduce costs. The Chamber appreciates the political will that the county executive has demonstrated by encouraging and facilitating these important conversations and providing his support to the effort. In addition, we commend the efforts of various governmental units and leaders who have stepped to the table. The process in developing these projects was inclusive of municipal officials, staff and public input. The application is also wide reaching, ensuring these grant funds would have a substantial impact on communities countywide.

Chautauqua County municipalities have had shared services agreements for many years, which have been particularly successful with highway and emergency services. The potential of additional grant funding can put the county and municipalities in a unique position to continue finding ways to reduce layers of government oversight that increase tax burdens for businesses and homeowners and to build a strong future for Chautauqua County.

Chamber to drive Jamestown Cruise-In event

The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce will present Jamestown Cruise-In, Aug. 18 in downtown Jamestown! This event will harken back to the roots of the original event, featuring classic cars, live music and fun activities for all ages. Live classic music will take place on the corner of Main and Third streets, along with a hula hoop contest, a bubble gum chewing contest, ’50s theme dress up contest and a dance contest, providing activities for all ages. Chamber members are invited to participate as street vendors to offer food or other items for sale.

Jamestown Community Chamber Coordinator Lee Harkness said, “We have lined up a tremendous group of volunteers to assist with this project. We are especially grateful to Der Kobblers Automobile Association for returning to help put together this great event. This wonderful event will showcase some incredible cars, provide entertainment to thousands of people and help bring foot traffic to downtown businesses.”

Sponsoring Jamestown Cruise-In is the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, which previously organized and hosted this event, and is financially supporting it this year. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Der Kobblers Automobile Association, Media One Group and Northwest Arena are partners in presenting Jamestown Cruise-In.

For more information, or to become a sponsor or a vendor, contact Harkness at 338-6089.

Hanover Chamber sponsors July 3 concert

The Hanover Community Chamber of Commerce and the village of Silver Creek will host live music for the July 3 fireworks display at Borrello Park. The band Dark Horse Run, sponsored by Seneca Gaming and Entertainment, will perform southern classic rock. The music will start at 6:30 and run until the fireworks show at dusk. Vendors will be on hand with food and drinks. Everyone is welcome to attend this great evening of free music and fireworks!

Sign up now and save for the Chamber Golf Tournament

Local golfers can play where the pros play and save, by registering for the Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Tournament by July 10. Early Bird pricing is in effect now, allowing a savings of $25 per player for this fabulous event on the Upper Course at Peek’n Peak. Enjoy a tremendous day of golf and camaraderie, plus great prize packages and food!

The Annual Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament is Aug. 10 and is sponsored by DFT Communications, Bush Industries, Community Bank, County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, Dahlstrom Roll Form, Jamestown Mattress Company, Lake Shore Savings Bank, Lawley Insurance, Lynn Development, National Fuel Gas, National Grid, Nestle Purina PetCare, and the Shults Auto Group.

To register or learn more, call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101 or visit www.chautauquachamber.org/events.

Uber is available in Chautauqua County

Uber ride service is now available in Chautauqua County, just in time for the busy summer period. This long awaited service is a great solution for visitors to the area who do not have a vehicle with them, or who would rather not drive at certain times.

To utilize the service, simply go to the Google Play Store or Apple Store using a smartphone and search for the Uber app. Then download the app and supply the required permissions and financial information. Once the app is installed and working, users can type in their desired destination in Chautauqua County. The app works best if the user turns on their smartphone location information. Uber will link the user with options for a driver and an estimated pick up time. All the arrangements and the financial transaction take place through the user’s smartphone, via the Uber app.

This is a fantastic service for area attractions, restaurants, wineries, breweries and lodging properties to let their customers know about. It provides a convenient and affordable alternative to driving when necessary.

There is also the opportunity for area residents and business people to become Uber drivers. Since this service is just beginning in Chautauqua County, there is plenty of need for drivers. The app provides instructions on how to become a driver, or interested persons can go to Uber.com.

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