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Councilwoman says rec fund not depleted

Dunkirk’s Bill Cease Fund for recreation is not depleted, city Councilwoman Natalie Luczkowiak said this weekend. She was critical of Mayor Kate Wdowiasz for stating otherwise.

“Please know that after the Council meeting, (last week) Treasurer Mark Woods brought me to his office and sat me down at his computer to show me the latest bank statement of the Bill Cease fund; and in fact, printed out this last bank statement for me,” Luczkowiak said. “The city in fact, has a separate account for the Bill Cease grant with Community Bank, and there is almost $77,000 in it with a monthly interest of over $250, each month.”

Luczkowiak continued, “Last year, we were told there was approximately this amount in this fund and this year, the city treasurer told me the same. However Mayor Wdowiasz stated that was wrong and it was much, much less, almost depleted.

“I had no reason not to believe the mayor because of the dire financial situation we are in and I am in the process of knowing why. Needless to say, I am very upset regarding this misinformation from the mayor, and it’s not the first time.”

Luczkowiak said she is working on a new Field of Dreams sign resolution with Councilwoman Nancy Nichols. The Cease fund was supposed to be tapped to fund the sign at Wright Park, but council turned it down after Wdowiasz’s statement that the fund was depleted. The original sign was removed after damage in a July storm.

Luczkowiak also commented about the city’s financial crisis.

“I believe that with the help of the state, we will be able to create a financial balance, and am learning there are many ways a municipality can help itself reach a better financial climate,” she said.

The OBSERVER’s original story on the Field of Dreams sign characterized the situation as “nightmarish.” Luczkowiak said, “I don’t believe it is nightmarish at all, we just don’t have the knowledge of how to really run a city, and hopefully, the mayor can learn from the state, I am not sure.”

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