City officials: Development group in good financial state

The numbers are in and everyone at city hall is happy with that.

At the Feb. 20 Dunkirk Local Development Corporation meeting, the board of directors met after a four-month hiatus to begin the 2019 year.

Rebecca Yanus, director of planning and development for the city of Dunkirk discussed the operating expenses used in the DLDC each year.

“The only income that’s involved is the funds that the city includes, which is $20,000 and was given to us in the month of April 2018,” Yanus began. “Most of the operating expenses go towards the DLDC’s insurance, National Grid and National Fuel that covers our office space, the taxes on our DLDC owned properties and our audit fee.”

According to her, the ending balance for 2018 was $7,015 with a starting balance for 2018 of $2,160. The current balance as of Feb. 20 was $4,835.

Festivals and Special Events Coordinator Hector Rosas gave a detailed rundown of the income and expenses that his team experienced throughout the year, albeit not yet audited.

“I’m happy to say that we’ve made more money in three-years than the first day of the corporation being established,” Rosas stated. “In the last administration’s three-years, there was just over $300,000 made, and so far we’ve raised over $750,000 in our three-years here. Last year was out best year yet, garnering $319,243.”

Income included various vendors throughout the city run events, advertising revenue and event sponsors totaling roughly $296,742 with expenses including entertainment, equipment, specialty services and promotions equaling about $303,550.

Rosas also mentioned that with the auditors, the city will receive quarterly reports which Festivals will pass on to other groups within the city.

“We’ve been able to save for carry over to this year $15,692, that’s a precedent being set because in the past they never had any money carried over, in fact there were times when the city had to bail them out. They usually averaged about $75,000 a year.”

Many people in attendance were quick to offer accolades, citing that these were amazing accomplishments especially considering that the DLDC doesn’t have Cliffstar, NRG and Red Wing anymore to help with sponsoring events.

“I asked my staff to come because I can’t take all the credit,” Rosas said. “We received about five awards from state officials and I want to thank my team and the interns we’ve had, the DPW for helping us set up and tear down and of course fire and police safety. The special events festivals have come a long way, the numbers are self-explanatory.”

According to Rosas, there’s going to be an increase in festivals to 11 this year, due to the savings. The festivals will include the traditional ones including the Great Lakes Experience, the Juneteenth Celebration, the July Fourth Celebration (which will span three days this year) and the Beach Bash to name a few. A new addition this year will be the Heritage Festival, which will be an event in partnership with SUNY Fredonia.

In other news, the DLDC added new member Marty Bamonto to the board of directors and Yanus took some time to discuss the DLDC loan program and what they are hoping to accomplish with the $82,000 they have on hold with HUD.

“Once we clarify the language on the forms and then pass this as a resolution later we can put out a press release offering applications for small businesses,” Yanus said. “Then we go through those and decide which ones and how much funding we’ll be granting to those. After that we’ll discuss the loan agreement with the owners and get the promissory notes together.” All funding monies go through HUD. “Hopefully by this spring we can start offering this program,” Yanus added. “To bring some business back to downtown I think is the goal in mind for a lot of people. To help some existing businesses expand as well could be a possibility as well.”