The administration of the new Chadwick Bay Economic Development Zone in northern Chautauqua County could be handled by Chautauqua Opportunities Inc., the same organization whose director, Richard Alexander, was appointed last week as the county's new development director and Industrial Development Agency director.
County Executive Mark Thomas said Monday that Chautauqua Opportunities, a mainly human service-oriented organization, has been working with the municipalities involved in the development zone since before Alexander was recruited for two other posts in county government.
"For a couple of months, the leaders of the communities involved and COI have been meeting, and Chautauqua Opportunities staff will be handling this," Thomas said.
Thomas added Alexander will not be staying on at Chautauqua Opportunities after he takes the helm at the development department and the IDA, tentatively slated for Sept. 28, pending approval by the County Legislature and the IDA board.
Despite a background in providing services to the needy, Thomas added he believes Chautauqua Opportunities is the right organization to administer the development zone, which includes portions of the City and Town of Dunkirk and the Town of Sheridan.
Maria Kindberg, D-Jamestown, chairwoman of the Legislature's Agriculture and Economic Development Committee, said Monday she was unaware of the COI proposal until it was prefiled for action by her committee.
"It was the first I had heard of it. I have some questions about it, and I understand we will be getting a presentation in committee," Mrs. Kindberg said.
Both the committee and the IDA board are expected to act on Alexander's appointment Friday.