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GEBBIE DONATES FOR DESIGN PLAN

The Gebbie Foundation is giving the city $75,000 to help develop a design plan.

During Monday's City Council meeting, when members accepted the grant, Mayor Sam Teresi said the creation of an urban design plan has been called for several times since 1998.

The Council earlier this year approved of goals that will be associated with the plan.

"We've been waiting a long time for the financial impetus to get moving on this," Teresi said, adding that the money puts the city more than halfway toward a goal of $180,000 to $200,000 to pay for the project.

The Planning Commission and the city's Department of Development are reviewing four proposals that have been submitted by outside firms to create the urban design plan. Officials hope that once a plan is created, Jamestown will be able to attract new businesses and new development by being able to quickly show companies what the city has to offer.

In another matter, Teresi rejected a suggestion from Councilman James McElrath to use $300,000 of Jamestown's fund balance to lower the proposed 5.9 percent tax-rate increase in next year's budget.

Teresi proposed using $186,000 of the fund balance in his budget outline, leaving behind $1 million. Taking any more would be too risky, he said.

"Hitting the fund balance is one-shot money," he said. "Whatever you take out this year, you start in the hole with next year. So if we hit it for $300,000, that's a $300,000 hole that we have to start with next year."

Council members were scheduled to meet today and again Oct. 28 in the mayor's conference room to discuss the budget. The Council must approve of a budget before Dec. 8 or the mayor's plan will go into effect.

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