ALBANY - State Sen. Catharine Young - R, Olean - has secured $50,000 of emergency funding for the village of Forestville for a new roof and other capital improvements that are needed immediately.
Young said the grant will provide some relief to village taxpayers who cannot afford the massive property tax increase resulting from the convergence of debt repayments and necessary emergency building repairs.
"Families already are struggling to pay their bills, and Forestville has many seniors living on fixed incomes," she said. "The situation is not the residents' fault, and they need help.
"These funds will be for a new roof and other capital improvements to the village-owned fire hall and community center. The leaking roof had to be fixed right away and added to the village's budget woes. This grant will lift that portion of the burden from taxpayers," Young continued.
Recently, Chautauqua County also helped alleviate the pain of the tax hike with a $150,000 loan to the village. In exchange, the village of Forestville will undergo an audit by the State Comptroller examining the village's finances over the last five years, and participate in a task force examining the village's long-term viability.
However, even with the county's help, the financial obstacles for the village persisted and more help was needed. The $50,000 of support from Young will help to ease the burden.
"The county did an excellent job of also coming to the assistance of the village with a large loan. Working together at the state, county, and local level, all involved have demonstrated the significant progress that can be achieved when everyone is working together. Without this emergency state assistance, coupled with the county's help, the tax rate for the village would have been significantly higher than what the village board approved," said Young.
"On behalf of the village of Forestville, I would like to thank Sen. Young for her hard work to help the people of Forestville. The roof of the Forestville Municipal Building is in dire need of repair and this grant opportunity will help an already financially strapped community. She is truly an unmatched good neighbor," said Forestville Mayor Kevin L. Johnson.
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan said, "I extend special thanks to Senator Young for helping the village of Forestville. Together with the loan from Chautauqua County, this New York state capital improvement grant for their fire hall will go a long way to help village residents get through a very difficult financial period."
Assemblyman Andy Goodell said, "Fortunately, the state of New York was able to help the village of Forestville with this important project. Thanks to the teamwork with Sen. Young, County Executive Horrigan, and County and local officials, the financial impact resulting from previous problems has been reduced for Village of Forestville residents."
Young said, "I will continue to work together with local officials to help our taxpayers afford to stay in their homes, pay their bills, and secure a brighter future for themselves and their families."
The emergency funding Young has secured will be administered through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY).