More than a dozen residents wanted some answers about the methamphetamines production operation discovered earlier this month in their neighborhood.
On Monday, an impromptu meeting was held with about 16 residents of Spruce Street with Anthony Dolce, Ward 2 city councilman, and Harry Snellings, Jamestown police chief and public safety director. The residents wanted answers about the house at 57 Spruce St. after it was discovered earlier this month that those residing at that address were arrested for manufacturing methamphetamine.
On Oct. 17, Jamestown firefighters responded to a residential structure fire at 57 Spruce St. As the fire was extinguished, firefighters discovered several items utilized in the production of methamphetamines. The combustible material was suspected as the source of the fire.
Scott Finch, 38, Nina Finch, 37, and John Dursma, 29, who were three occupants of the home, were at the residence and taken into custody for endangering the welfare of the three children who also lived at the residence as well as second-degree manufacturing of methamphetamine. Scott Finch was additionally charged with unlawful growing of cannabis and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
The residents had several issues to discuss with city officials about the house, but mostly just wanted to know if the structure would be tested to make sure it is safe to live around. One resident said they wanted a ''Clean bill of health'' presented to them so they know the neighborhood is a safe area to continue living. Snellings said it is an issue officials from the city Department of Development will be dealing with in the future. Dolce said when testing of the structure is done he will notify neighbors of the findings. The neighbors also asked if the testing and clean up could happen quickly.
In other business, City Council continued their budget work session meetings. Jim Olson, city clerk, discussed the city budgets for the city clerk's office; the treasurer; assessor's office; financial services; bingo inspector; and human resources-insurance. Between the 2013 budget and the proposed 2014 financial plan for these departments, Olson said the proposed budget is $3,249 less than this year's. The difference comes from a retirement where the new employee, once hired, will be lower on the pay scale. Also, the city will no longer provide bingo inspection services. Olson said with the emergence of casinos and more smoking regulations in the state, the amount of bingo games being conducted has decreases substantially over the past few years.
Joe Bellitto, city comptroller, also went over his budget with council. He talked about how the finance department has lowered its employment during the past 20 years, which is mainly due to advances in technology. He said in 1991, the city's finance department had 21 staff members and six officers. In 2013, the department had 12 staff and the equivalence of 2.5 officers.