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Village's life at stake in Wellsville vote

Village voters will elect two four-year trustees Tuesday and then decide whether to abolish the village itself.

The dissolution issue has been hashed over in a public meeting and a formal public hearing, as well as in a forum last week hosted by a business-oriented group.

The Tea Party, a group of tax protesters, forced the issue onto the ballot with a petition that carried more than 1,000 signatures and survived a court challenge.

If the village votes to dissolve, it becomes part of the Town of Wellsville, with a tax rate dropping about $1 per thousand in the former village and rising by about $11 per thousand for property in the current town, a consultant determined.

Village taxes are now about $22; those in the town, $7.63.

The uniform cross-community rate is pegged to become $19.50.

A bigger question, however, is whether village residents would continue to enjoy low power rates from their municipal electric company if the village is dissolved.

National Grid supplies power to the surrounding town at roughly three times the rate villagers pay.

Lawyers and others have called it gambling with the village's most precious fiscal asset to consider dissolving -- and possibly losing the low-cost Power Authority of the State of New York rate.

Incumbent Trustee Judy Lynch and Laurie Hennessy, Democrats, are running for the board against Republicans Randy Hartwick and Gary Pearson.

Voting will be from noon to 9 p.m. in the Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

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