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Rumblings of interest across the state in potential consolidation of town and city — Batavia inches into the spotlight

By Philip Anselmo

A potential consolidation for Batavia has caught the attention of more than just the local crowds. An editorial from the crew at the Syracuse Post Standard that went up a few days ago asks the question: One Batavia for all?

If Batavia's voters approve municipal consolidation next fall, it should make waves at least throughout the state. As Attorney General Andrew Cuomo recently noted, New York's 10,521 local government entities are excessive. Towns, villages, school districts and special assessment districts consume too many tax dollars and pit folks against each other who should join forces.

Is Batavia ready to make waves? What good or bad could come from the consolidation?


Dock Baker doesnt make house calls anymore.Milk isnt deliverd to your door no more.And all the cat houses are gone.And yes there were cat houses in batavia!I know this because I found a half of an aluminum token when I worked maintenance at the Richmond library.So since were not living in little house on the prarie times anymore hello its 2009! people of blatavia.We should consolidate like our police force has already done and our firemen have already done.And for GOD sakes get a real Mayor not a manager weave got enough people trying to play chief with no one really running the show.How can someone take local government seriously if local government doesnt grow up and get serious? JOSEPH MAROTTA

Jan 5, 2009, 9:07am Permalink
Paul McCullough

So far all I have heard is the City side, on how it will help the city, help lower city taxes, help with city work, the city school district tax levy, etc... I have not heard anything from the town side, how can it help with the taxes? - that's right, we do not have local town taxes (yet). Help with lower school taxes - if you live in the town and go to city schools - you will still pay the same amount if not more, those of us that are lucky to be in the Pembroke school district, pay much lower taxes than the city district does (I wonder if its because of great management of assets, not over building?). I even heard that the town could benifit from garbage service - I pay for mine now ($300/yr) and they take EVERYTHING I put out, no special stickers or anything.

What have the new companies and stores said about having to pay the city tax rate, I don't think they factored that into their business plans.

Since the city has not had a good financial history, where the town has (thanks June, Greg and Co.), will that mean money flowing towards the city?

I don't have issues with SHARED services, I have issues with CONSOLIDATED municipalities.

I understand that both the town and the city have costs that are going up, but there has to be a different way of doing things with out losing the local representation we have. Maybe less water parks, have property owners plow sidewalks, etc.. simple things to start with.

Hopefully someone in the town will post something here or in the paper to say "... whats in it for the town residents..." Maybe it's me but it's so far a big win for the city.

Jan 5, 2009, 7:49pm Permalink
Daniel Jones

Paul, I would assume that there would be two separate property taxing districts, one for the city and one for the town with the sales tax revenue being shared.

The town would receive services, such as police and fire etc.

Jan 6, 2009, 9:03am Permalink
Charlie Mallow

Actually, town residents would not receive anything they don’t have now, including a property tax. The town provides services based on districts (fire, water, etc). Town Residents only pay for what they want “a la carte”. No one is talking about changing that, it just wouldn’t work.

Also, your school district does not have anything to do with the municipality you live in again, nothing would change.

Jan 6, 2009, 9:16am Permalink
Paul McCullough

Thanks Charlie

What would be helpful is if some of this could be posted in the Daily News or here to help clarify this. As you may know, it almost sounds from the little bits and piece that are in the rumor mill, the town will be "absorbed" be taxed at city rates and have services we don't want / need. After Bruce Tehans comment in the dail the other day- it almost sounded like it was a done deal, just sign the papers and thanks town for some money.

Have the daily or this site explain a little of what is going on to disspell the rumors

Jan 7, 2009, 5:56pm Permalink
Charlie Mallow

The details will be forthcoming when the plan is given to us in a few months. We are simply not that far along yet. The consolidation committee does fully understand that town taxpayers can not take on any burdens of the city and that would be a deal breaker. The plan has to be mutually beneficial. I wouldn’t even sign on to a plan that would be unfair to town residents. As for the town being “absorbed” by the city, I wouldn’t worry about that either. From the things I have been hearing the city is more likely to take on some of the good business practices that the town has prescribed to for years.

Town residents are in good hands with Greg Post and the rest of the town board. I would wait to hear from them before drawing any conclusions.

Jan 7, 2009, 6:12pm Permalink
John Roach

Mr. Tehan never said merger was a done deal.
What Bruce Tehan was saying was that he was worried that the present City Charter Commission's work might interfer with the merger. His concern is that if the updated Charter is on the Nov. ballot at the same time as a vote on merger, it might cause problems.

Mr. Tehan is a strong supporter of a merger and he is a strong supporter of updating our Charter. He just wants to see that one does not get in the way of the other. As Chairman the Charter Commission I hope the voters in the City can vote on both this year and will vote yes on both.

Jan 7, 2009, 8:02pm Permalink

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