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Council Continues West Third Street Redesign Discussion | News, Sports, Jobs

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Kimberly Ecklund, At-Large councilwoman, discussing a resolution dealing with the West Third Street redesign project during The Jamestown City Council work session meeting Monday.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

The redesign of West Third Street was discussed again by the Jamestown City Council.

On Monday during its work session meeting, the council had further discussion on the proposed $500,000 project to add new sidewalks, aprons, plant trees and move electrical infrastructure from behind houses to in front of homes that will take place between Hall Avenue and Hallock Street this summer.

During the discussion, Anthony Dolce, council president, asked if the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities was providing any funding for the electrical work portion of the project. Jeff Lehman, city public works director, said the electrical infrastructure portion of the project cost $180,000. Lehman said he “can’t speak for the BPU” as for why American Rescue Plan Act funding and not money from the BPU is being used for the electrical work that is being proposed to be done.

Marie Carrubba, Ward 4 councilwoman and former BPU board member, said the project to improve the BPU’s access to electrical infrastructure has been discussed for several years. Currently, because the electrical lines are behind people’s houses, BPU workers cannot use a bucket truck, which is a safer way for them to access the infrastructure.

The council also discussed how residents along West Third Street are not receiving preferential treatment as they receive new sidewalks, aprons and new trees. Dolce said Lehman had sent him a list of several streets in other areas of the city where neighborhoods received new sidewalks and aprons. Lehman said the 1,500 feet of street being improved is typical of other projects done in the city annually.

City officials hope to have a contractor in place for the project by the beginning of May. The project is slated to start sometime between the middle of May and middle of June.

According to a staff memorandum, the project is estimated to total $479,605.

In other business:

¯ The council discussed the building components of an 80-foot wide by 75-foot long pre-engineered metal building to be used for the addition on a fleet maintenance facility building on Washington Street, which was the former Hartley car dealership. The Building Innovation Group of East Rochester was the lowest of two bids received at $232,300.

Kim Ecklund, At-Large councilwoman, asked what the building will be used for. Lehman said the new building will house the city’s larger trucks because the building currently located there isn’t large enough.

Last year, the Jamestown City Council approved the purchase of most of the former Hartley car dealership property from Timothy Shults for $400,000.

At the time, Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist said the city had proposed in 2019 to construct a new building on Crescent Street at the cost of $4 million for the new central garage. He said, however, since the start of the pandemic, the cost to construct a new central garage has gone up “astronomically.”

Sundquist said city officials started looking into the former Hartley car dealership and have analyzed that the property, which already has a maintenance garage, would be significantly less expensive to renovate than to build new.

He said it would cost around $2.1 million to renovate the former car dealership garage and to purchase the property.

Sundquist said the savings would be $1.9 million to renovate the former car dealership compared to building a new central garage on Crescent Street. He said the state has committed $1 million in grant funding to the city for the central garage, with the funding being used to purchase the property located at 1425-1505 Washington St.

¯ The council also discuss a resolution to use $100,000 of ARPA funds to use toward creating a pilot program to replace sidewalks damaged by trees. According to a staff memorandum, the city will create a fund to increase the reimbursement rate for homeowners for sidewalk replacements specifically for tree-damaged sidewalks, increasing accessibility for handicapped individuals and taking care of the city’s most damaged sidewalks.

During the meeting, Lehman said it will be a 50/50 match and will only be for sidewalks where a tree has been removed and a new tree will not be planted.

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