Council approves good news resolution

There was a late addition to the agenda when the Dunkirk Common Council met Tuesday and it was some good news.

The city has received approval for $341,000 in funding for the Lake Front Boulevard seawall project through the state’s Consol-idated Funding Application of the Western New York Regional Economic Devel-opment Council.

“Late Friday we received word from Empire State Development that we were green-lighted to proceed with the bid process for the seawall. This being a little later than we were hoping for, but nonetheless great news and that bid will be advertised within the next day or two,” Mayor Anthony J. Dolce told council. “We give the normal bid process amount and we will be, provided the bids are reasonable and within our budget, we will be presenting a resolution to council to award the bid to a company, a contractor, at the June 3 council meeting.”

Dolce added a timeline would have to be worked out with the successful bidder.

“Hopefully the whole seawall will be complete in 2014 and then the parks portion will begin in the spring of ’15. So just a great piece of news there and the reason why we’re asking council to act under new business to accept the grant,” Dolce said. “Normally we don’t do new business, but in this case we felt it was important.”

After the meeting Dolce added to his meeting remarks on the seawall project and the grant.

“We couldn’t be more excited, we are extremely thrilled that the state sent us the documents we needed,” he stated. “We’ll be executing those documents now that council approved it. … We will be officially going out to bid in the next day or two. There will be the public notice and from that point we’ll accept bids until May 27, and … providing the bids are within our budget, we’ll be asking council to award the bid at that June 3 council meeting. From there we’ll have to work out a timeline with the contractors and we hope that that timeline begins before July.”

Asked if the grant would cover the total seawall cost, Dolce said it would cover a significant portion of the cost.

“We have previously set up a resolution designating that 75 percent of the project will be paid from Fund I and the other 25 percent from Fund III, the sewer fund,” he added. “That is how we’ve been paying our engineers as they’ve done their planning and design and that’s how we will make payments to what is not covered under the grant.”

Dolce was asked if the project would be held over if the process gets slowed down or would as much as possible be done as the road is closed during the winter.

“All of that would be contingent on the bids coming in within our projected budget,” he replied. “Again, we don’t envision they will be exorbitant, but you always want to put that caveat out there that if these bids are above our budgeted amount, then we’re going to have to rethink how we proceed. But this grant was given with the idea in mind that they want to see results sooner rather than later.”

Council approved four of the pre-filed resolutions and tabled Resolution 36-2014 for a public hearing on Local Law 2-2014, which would modify Chapter 65 of the City Code entitled “Sidewalks and Streets.”

The law would bring the city into compliance with state and federal laws and allow the city to get funding from both. The public hearing is set for May 20 at 5:20 p.m., prior to the next council meeting.

The city’s 2014 Community Development Block Grant Annual Action Plan was approved to send to HUD, but not without some concerns from Councilman Adelino Gonzalez. Gonzalez complained there has been no reports on what has been done with the CDBG housing rehab grants the last two years.

“Last year we gave them $100,000, this year again. We never get a report back as to how many people were placed in homes, how many people got to own their home,” he stated. “We never get a report as to how that money is spent .. and who are the people that benefit.”

Nicole Waite is the city’s CDBG Program Coordinator and filled Gonzalez in on why there were no reports.

“Chautauqua Opportunities was awarded a three-year contract for 2012 to 2014, and they have not spent any of that money yet because of the program kind of being frozen for the last year or so, so that’s why we haven’t gotten any reports,” she explained. “They have accepted applications and they’ve chosen, I believe, five properties to do this spring and next spring. … So that’s why we haven’t been given anything yet because they haven’t started the work.”

There will be some $300,000 available for use this year and Waite said the plan was to allot $25,000 per property. She told Gonzalez when COI starts she will provide reports and when they apply for reimbursement she will check their work.

Council also authorized the repayment of $153,520 to HUD for funding under a CDBG-R program that was allocated to S&K Hospitality Inc. for economic development purposes that were ineligible under that program. The Clarion Hotel repaid the Dunkirk Local Development Corporation $126,346.52 of the amount, with the remaining $27,173.48 coming from a general fund line for HUD reimbursement, which was budgeted at $50,000.

Council also approved three budget line modifications totalling $4,250 and authorized the purchase of a 2014 Ford Police Interceptor SUV for $29,717.

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