The Resource Center has gained the support of City Council in going forward with a grant application that would be worth $200,000 if awarded.
During Monday's City Council meeting, a resolution supporting The Resource Center's consolidated funding application for a proposed Community Health Services center was passed.
The proposed $3 million project has been met with some resistance by Finance Committee members as it was discussed over the last several weeks. Originally, the proposed resolution placed the project on Harrison Street, on what has been described as Jamestown's last shovel-ready industrial site.
After discussion, the proposed resolution was re-worded, giving the support of City Council to the project, but leaving out the address. Representatives from The Resource Center agreed to consider other possible locations for the facility.
"Given the fact that the city has, over the years, put in an enormous amount of work to create that site to be a shovel-ready industrial site, and given the fact that this would now become a non-taxable property, I think we all agreed on City Council that they should perhaps look for other sites," said Vince DeJoy, D-Ward 4.
DeJoy listed three conditions under which he would lend his support to the project. His conditions were that the project not be located in an industrial zone, that it be located in a commercial location within the city and that The Resource Center work with a private, taxable development partner.
"These conditions are the conditions that we have given to The Resource Center's support for their grant application," DeJoy said. "However, as far as I know, they haven't actually agreed to these conditions."
DeJoy said he reluctantly supports the project with these stipulations in place. One of his primary concerns was that although he would like to see new development in the city, he would not like to see it at the expense of the taxpayers.
"If they are awarded (the grant), I hope they abide by those conditions. If they aren't awarded this, I hope that they don't go forward and pursue this industrial site, which will be a non-taxable property," DeJoy said.
Additionally, during Monday's meeting, City Council unanimously approved a resolution allowing Mayor Sam Teresi to enter into a tax equivalency payment agreement with Lutheran Social Services.
"This is a great win-win situation for the city. A lot of times, you hear people talking about not-for-profits and what they do or don't do in terms of their fair share," said Tony Dolce, R-Ward 2. "I'd like to thank Lutheran Social Services for stepping up and helping in what is a difficult financial situation for the city."
During the meeting, Stephen Szwejbka, I-Ward 1, voiced his hope that the agreement will open dialog between the city and other non-profit organizations about tax-equivalent payments. Other council members agreed.
"It's a great what Lutheran Social Services does, and we appreciate it," DeJoy said. "I think they are a great example for other non-profits. Right now, The Resource Center has over $2 million in taxable properties in the city, and none of them pay anything."
City Council will next meet for committee meetings and work sessions Sept. 10.