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High-cost projects, little tax benefit

Commentary

On the front page of the OBSERVER on May 28 was a large photo of a drawing of an architectural new building for The Chautauqua Center that is expected to be constructed at Third Street and Park Avenue.

The $5 million facility is being partially funded by New York state taxpayers through a $3 million grant. It will serve as a mixed medical building offering services that include dental, pharmaceutical, primary care and behavioral health. All these are currently housed at the 300 block of Central Avenue.

Michael Pease, chief executive officer of the Chautauqua Center, said this new facility will put everything in one place and allow the facility to grow.

Pease also stated the facility hopes to enhance the location while keeping it within walking distance for a number of residents.

There seems to be a pro and con discussion on this project. Many of the agencies on the 300 block are catering to the non-taxpaying portion of our population. If these services move, the city is left with more empty buildings.

There is no benefit to the taxpayers to have this newly constructed facility when buildings already are more than open and able to fill these needs in downtown.

Also, that same week, there was a proposal by the State Police to build a barracks on the city line on Main Street. This is not positive development, as there will be no tax base once the facility is built. Why are the State Police needed in the city anyway? We already have a fine police department.

Those on the city Planning Board must answer some questions before these projects move forward.

Richard Makuch is a Dunkirk resident. Send comments to editorial@observertoday.com

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