Lots of talk doesn’t produce savings

Commentary

I’m just curious, with the constant talk about Fredonia dissolving and merging into the town of Pomfret in the OBSERVER pages, and the money savings touted, exactly where will all this savings come from?

Yes, you’d lose the mayor and Village Board, a drop in the bucket money-wise, spread throughout the town. How about the Fire Department? My understanding is they’d have to form a fire district with their own tax, so that would obviously negate some of the village tax you’d be losing.

Then there’s the police force. If you think the Sheriff’s Department are going to patrol as often, you haven’t been paying attention elsewhere. The town doesn’t have a police force, so, it’s either start one or contract with the sheriff.

The town would also become responsible for all of Fredonia’s infrastructure needs. Plowing is an issue, as the town trucks can’t navigate all of Fredonia’s streets, meaning the town would need to add enough smaller trucks to plow the village, and men to drive them.

Water and sewer work, which they are not responsible for now, means more men and more training and equipment. I’m sure it would change the negotiations with the North County Water District, but the “savings” there I believe are being hugely exaggerated.

What would occur is a rise in property value for those now served by wells. Much of the town’s value, like it or not, is due to it’s proximity to the village of Fredonia. If Fredonia deteriorates, it does impact the value of town property as well. I might add, a merger also has a huge impact on the town politically, not saying good or bad, just different.

Like a lot of dogma, reality can be a damper on predictions. Fredonia has been very dysfunctional of late, but there are so many bad decisions from past leadership that led to the current situation, it’s almost laughable to see the finger pointing from those same people aimed at current leadership. Revisionism at its finest!

Back to the original subject, I’m not seeing the supposed savings. There might be some, in the short run, but not enough to change anyone’s lifestyle much, I’d guess. Basing any projections of money saving and such in a merger between Fredonia and the town of Pomfret, on the mergers in Perrysburg and Forestville-Hanover is ludicrous. Throwing Dunkirk into the mix, even more so. That discussion requires a bit of study on city versus town and village government.

So, how about the OBSERVER using its resources for let’s say at least a series on what savings would occur if Fredonia merges into the town of Pomfret.

Paul Christopher is a Dunkirk and former Fredonia resident.

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