MAYVILLE – Members of the Chautauqua County Legislature’s Planning and Economic Development Committee have turned down three resolutions that would have affected the county’s Industrial Development Agency.
Committee Chairman George Borrello, R-Silver Creek, and committee members Keith Ahlstrom, D-Dunkirk, and Rod Rodgers, Green Party-Forestville, all voted against the resolutions.
One measure would have required that any business receiving IDA funds hire local contractors. “I think this is in the same category as an unfunded mandate,” said Borrello. He said the local labor supplier policy could tie the hands of developers in the county. Also defeated was a motion that all supplies must be purchased locally.
A third measure, at the request of Legislator Robert Whitney, D-Jamestown, asked that the ranking minority member of the legislature be appointed as a voting member of the IDA.
In other action, the committee approved a minor change in the distribution of receipts from the county’s Occupancy Tax Fund. The resolution gives the county Finance Department 6 percent of the bed tax revenue, instead of the present 5 percent, subject to approval by the full Legislature.
A 5 percent bed tax collected on the rental of hotel, motel and bed-and-breakfast rooms this year will amount to about $1 million. The tax supports the Chautauqua County Vacation Board, county parks, trails, lakeshore and tourism promotion in addition to the small percentage paid to the county Finance Department for administration of the fund.
Borrello said the increase to the Finance Department will support efforts to collect the occupancy tax from all locations that have overnight accommodations. He said these additional efforts over the last two years resulted in collection of more than $100,000 in tax revenue from locations which had not previously registered.
The committee also recommended a change in the application for the Empire Specialty Cheese Company. The company is seeking money to locate a new facility in the town of Harmony. The money previously was allocated to the Saturn Pet Care Company, which has withdrawn its application.
The application is for $616,000 and would require county executive to apply for a community development block grant for final approval.