City Council Considers How to Add Funding to Senior Citizen Home Improvement Program

Jamestown City Council work session (September 12, 2022)

Jamestown City Council is looking at how to increase funding to a Senior Citizen Home Improvement program while not completely removing funding for another home improvement program.

Two resolutions being considered would add an additional $500,000 in American Rescue Plan funds to the Senior Citizen Program and move $500,000 from the Home Improvement Incentive Program. The latter would effectively de-fund the Home Improvement Incentive Program.

Mayor Eddie Sundquist said there had been over $1.8 million in requests for the senior citizen program, which had initially been funded with $500,000 of ARPA funds. He said the Home Improvement Incentive Program, which would provide cash rebates to anyone who made over $5,000 in repairs to their home, hadn’t been opened yet

Finance Chair and Council member at Large Kim Ecklund expressed concern over not taking care of senior citizens and neglecting another group, “And making sure that we’re covering everybody and not just one or two groups with ARPA funding. So the lower-income and seniors is great, but we’re missing that middle group who maybe it’s a struggling family, a single parent, doesn’t meet all those other needs. They have a job but they could use some incentives so I think, that I want to be sure of.”

Councilmember Marie Carrubba agreed, saying that people under 62 and not disabled can’t be ignored.

Council members requested an updated application list from City Comptroller John Sellstrom for the Senior Citizen Program.

A local law on the proposed redistricting of City Council Boundaries passed through committee. The City’s Reapportionment Commission voted in August to recommend a set of maps that have little change from the current ward boundaries.

The recommendation was based off of the minimal changes to Jamestown’s population within the last ten years. According to Mayor Sundquist, the local law must sit for 30 days and have a public hearing. Council will likely approve the redistricting at its October voting session.

Council President Tony Dolce said due to a number of council members and staff who will be absent, the September 19 work session for City Council has been canceled. The next meeting of the Jamestown City Council will be their voting session on Monday, September 26.