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PANEL EYES REVAMP OF DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

A possible revamp of the city's Planning and Development Department were the focus of a meeting of the Council Planning and Development Committee Monday night.

Development Director Christine Kinn revealed that Robert Gilray, housing rehabilitation specialist, had resigned his post on Friday.

However, she did not give a reason for the resignation, which leaves the department staffed with Kinn and one secretary. The position of deputy director has been budgeted but has yet to be filled.

The department is responsible for federal entitlement grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Kinn recommended that the Council consider having housing rehabilitation work done in conjunction with the city's Core Area Preservation Corp. and the Chautauqua Housing Rehabilitation and Improvement Corp., which works countywide.

Currently, the city has between $100,000 and $200,000 in federal funding for housing rehabilitation. Kinn suggested that this money could leverage other funding to rehabilitate more housing.

Council members plan to study this recommendation and review the job description for the deputy director, previously a civil service post.

The Council also will consider hiring consultants for writing grant applications and hiring temporary office help.

First Ward Councilman Chet Kozlowski said that money saved from not filling the deputy director's post could be used to hire temporary help.

Kozlowski also suggested the deputy post might not be necessary.

"Some people do not believe in a deputy position, he said. "It's a full-time job and some don't want to create the position."

The department will be discussed further during a Feb. 28 Council meeting.

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