"No state mandates without state funding," Fourth Ward Councilman John Woloszyn said Thursday as the Council and city officials held a brainstorming session between meetings in City Hall.
Mayor Margaret Wuerstle was scheduled to attend a seminar in Buffalo today called by the state comptroller to discuss state fiscal policy in relationship to local governments.
Fiscal Affairs Officer Charles Herron suggested that the state could foster cooperative efforts among municipalities, including planning. Another suggestion was regional planning for peak capacity at neighboring wastewater treatment plants such that cooperation could be used instead of construction.
Second Ward Councilman Frank Gawronski added that the state should help finance fire and police protection -- possibly through low-cost loans for equipment. He said the program for low-cost loans for capital improvements at the wastewater treatment plant also should be continued.
Further, the city should not have to guarantee the school district's tax warrant. Then the city would not need to set aside funds for the school district's unpaid taxes, he said.
The city collects taxes for Chautauqua County and does not receive any reimbursement for its expenses, "Not even for postage," he said. A new system could be used or the city could be reimbursed for its costs.
Building Inspector Allan Zurawski said that for the last three years the governor has withheld funds for enforcing state building codes. This has cost the city $13,000 to $15,000 a year. Building inspectors throughout the state are lobbying to try to get the funds again sent to local governments.
In other matters, the mayor and Council asked that anyone who can help the people whose businesses were burned in last Sunday's fire to call City Hall.
The two-story building at 216-222 Central Ave., owned by Jerome and Mary Bradigan, will be demolished as soon as fire investigators complete their work, according to Building Inspector Allan Zurawski.
Community Christmas/Sharing With Children has offered space in its headquarters at 100 Ruggles St. to the Bradigans.
The Bradigans and Gary Dolce, the owner of a pet shop in the building, met with the Council, Ms. Wuerstle, Herron and City Attorney Sheila Meck Hyde for an hour in executive session Thursday.
The decision on whether to continue in business will depend on insurance settlements, the Bradigans and Dolce said.