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DEBT FROM SALE OF FORMER GENERAL HOSPITAL STILL A BURDEN

The former Jamestown General Hospital was sold eight years ago, but city taxpayers are still saddled with debt from the transaction.

The City Council on Monday night approved a resolution setting the debt-retirement budget for the former hospital for 1998.

Finance Committee Chairman Andrew Johnson, D-at large, said, "The original plan when General Hospital was sold to WCA Hospital was that the sale would generate enough to cover all of the expenses. That did not happen. It is going to be another two years or so before our entire indebtedness is paid off."

Johnson said the burden for taxpayers equals about $1 per $1,000 each year because of debt payment.

After only one person spoke during a public hearing, Mayor Richard Kimball signed a sewer-rate increase into law.

The per-unit increase of 12 cents will help the Board of Public Utilities make an additional $400,000 payment to the city in lieu of taxes.

The Council also heard farewells from two longtime members who were not re-elected last month.

William Gullotti, R-at large, said, "If each of us, and I include the general public, did one small thing each day to make Jamestown a little better place to live, you can imagine what would happen."

Said Anthony LoGuidice, R-Ward 5: "I wish this Council a great deal of luck. They face some huge (financial) problems, and I know they will give it their very best."

Council President Michael Mistretta, D-at large, and Kimball thanked Gullotti and LoGuidice for their service to the city.

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