Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Communities

June 21, 2014

Dissolution of Wilson village will be put to vote

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

WILSON — The question of whether to dissolve the village corporation will be put to a public vote Aug. 26.

The village board passed a resolution last week setting the referendum date. All eligible voters who reside in the village can participate.

If the vote is in favor of dissolution, the board will research the possible outcomes and put together a plan for dissolution.

However, if the research points to a negative outcome or the plan is unsatisfactory to village residents, residents can petition to stop the process and force a second vote on the question whether to dissolve.

If the August vote is against dissolution, residents will not be able to petition for it again for another four years.

Mayor Bernie Leiker says he's had many conversations with the New York Department of State already and believes that all of the funding needed for the research will be made available by the state.

“In cases like this, the state usually pays about 90 percent of the costs relating to dissolution research,” he said. “I anticipate that the state will support us in our search for information.”

Almost $25,000 in funding is nearly guaranteed by the state, Leiker said. New York provides funding for dissolution studies because it is recommending consolidation of villages and towns to avoid duplication of services.

The best plan would be to hire an outside company to do the research, to avoid making decisions based off of emotion, Leiker said.

The research would involve looking at the village's assets — the baseball fields, parks and the sewage treatment plant — as well as how dissolution would affect village employees, village and town property taxes and what services could be shared.

Leiker acknowledged that the way the law is structured, it is difficult for residents to make an informed decision regarding dissolution before the vote.

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