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Fewer capital projects expected by Chautauqua County this year

While there are no final decisions on what projects Chautauqua County will be doing this year, it appears there will be fewer of them.

During last week’s County Planning Board meeting, board members were asked to rank submitted projects.

“There will be a smaller number of projects this year,” said Planning Director Donald McCord.

The Sheriff’s Office requested seven projects: a scheduled storage server replacement, a convection oven, a planetary mixer for the jail, a hot water heater, a tower site UPS battery replacement, and parking lot maintenance.

McCord noted they were holding off on requesting any new vehicles, because of the financial challenges created by current pandemic. He expects new vehicle requests in 2021.

Other county departments requesting projects included the legislature for an A/V upgrade; an office expansion design for the District Attorney; a roof replacement for EMS; an emergency notification system and wireless network for the county’s Informational Services; a Discover eGOV Civil Service System for Human Resources; a first-floor renovation for Health and Human Services; and a replacement of voting machines by the Board of Elections.

No costs for any of the projects were listed.

The county’s Department of Public Facilities/Buildings and Grounds requested a skid steer, a building and grounds maintenance building, some door replacements, carpet and a Mayville arc flash study.

CARTS — the Chautauqua Area Rural Transportation System — requested a bus replacement, a bus wash and some new software.

Jamestown Community College listed 16 projects, including furniture, interior repairs, LED lighting, roofs, as well as a soccer field and an athletics stadium.

County Planning Board members requested JCC prioritize its own projects, to assist them in determining the best option for the county.

There were 12 projects listed for the county airports. Ninety-five percent of all funds come from the federal or state governments, but planning board members were still concerned about the local costs.

“It’s going to be impossible for the county to get out of running these airports,” said Rick Ketchum, board member.

Another board member, whose name was not listed on the zoom call, agreed. “Why are there two airports in the county this size? It doesn’t make sense,” he said.

McCord said he understood their concerns and suggested the board hold a separate discussion on the county’s airports at a future meeting, although no date was discussed.

The Planning Board is scheduled to meet again on June 16 to try and finalize a priority list.

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