FORESTVILLE - If the village of Forestville were to move forward with dissolution, the village may have several financial options available. During a meeting of the village dissolution committee Thursday evening, the committee held a conference call with Christopher Grant of the New York State Department of State's Division of Local Government.
Grant spoke of three financial opportunities the village may have through the department of state. Under the re-organization planning option, the village could apply for up to $50,000 to be used for examining potential cost savings and governmental efficiencies. Grant called this option a "blueprint" for a municipality's assets, debt and village-owned property.
"It's 50 percent state funds, 50 percent local funds. In the event that the dissolution is voted on and goes through, an additional 40 percent is returned to the municipality. So in terms that's 10 percent local match 90 percent state funding. That's only in the event that the dissolution be approved by the village," Grant said.
OBSERVER Photo by Samantha McDonnell
The Forestville Dissolution Committee met Thursday evening and had a conference call with a representative from the state Department of State. Pictured, from left, are committee members Rod Rogers (ex officio) and Kyle Barthel. Behind are Ken Cross and Gloria Yeager.
The second option would be the expedited re-organization assistance grant for up to $25,000. This grant would have a 90 percent state and 10 percent local match but is for municipalities who are petitioned and only have 60 days to hold a referendum. Since the village is not being petitioned, this option would not be applicable for the village. The final grant opportunity is the re-organizational implementation grant which is up to $50,000 and is a 90 percent state, 10 percent local match.
This grant could be used for computer programs and other technology-related items needed for implementation of a dissolution if any were approved.
Grant also spoke of a tax credit which would be paid to the town annually if the village were to dissolve. Homeowners would receive a check as part of this incentive.
"The state provides as an incentive, an additional 15 percent of the combined property tax levy to the town once the village is dissolved," said Grant. "Of that (amount) 70 percent must go for property tax relief ... the other 30 percent will go for general municipal purposes."
The re-organizational planning grant, even if dissolution were to fail in a vote, would tell the village ways it could save money and increase efficiency within the village, such as sharing services for example. Another question committee member Kyle Barthel had was in regard of the village's fire department if dissolution were to occur. Grant said the village would have two options - one would leave the department still independent.
"The town would form a fire district which would encompass the area currently served by the fire department. The fire district is run by a board of commissioners," Grant said.
The board of commissioners would be appointed by the town but when their terms were to expire residents would elect them. Under this option, the fire department would still be independent. In the second option, the town would form a fire protection district and the department's equipment and assets would be transferred to the town. The department would then be under the town's operation.
The committee will hold another meeting on Aug. 21 at 1 p.m. at the municipal hall. Grant and Director of Division of Local Government Kyle Wilber will be in attendance. If any resident would like a question addressed, they are encouraged to drop off the questions in written format at the village clerk's drop box or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. All questions should be submitted by Tuesday.
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