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Elections set March 9 in village

FREDONIA -- Village elections will be held March 9, it was announced at Monday night's Village Board meeting, and will involve two trustee seats and a village justice post.

The terms of Trustees Michelle Twichell and Gary Damico will expire next spring, as will be the term for Justice David Prince.

Twichell said Monday night she will consider running for a second four-year term, if endorsed by the Republican Party. Damico, a Democrat, said he has not yet decided whether he will seek a third consecutive term. Prince could not be reached to comment.

Also at the meeting, Pomfret Town Councilmen Rod Pennica and Charles Civiletto and Town Assessor Kevin Muldowney talked with the board about recent changes in assessments for two apartment complexes in Fredonia. Those changes put a $90,000 unexpected hole in the village budget. The final court decisions took a period of three years, during which the town and village sought to prevent a loss in municipal taxes from the two properties.

Pennica, speaking of the Green Acres Apartments court ruling, said regulations for federal Section 8 low-income housing changed on the state level and "caught us all by surprise." These regulations forced a revision to the facility's tax assessment. The courts, moreover, upheld United Church Residences' not-for-profit status, and so the village owes that facility a tax refund.

Mayor Michael Sullivan said the village will pay the total amount owed to the facilities in installments built into next year's budget. The debt carries a 9 percent interest rate.

Also Monday, it was learned the village's bond rating change from AAA to B-2 is only on borrowing through XL Capital Assurance Co.

Sullivan said the village's action did nothing to allow the rating to slip; the economy's actions did.

In other business:

*Part-time Police Officers Corry Moore and Patrick Brandt resigned their positions. The board hired Joseph Scholeno, of Lakewood, as a full-time officer at $18.90 an hour.

*The board shortly will begin budget review sessions in preparation for next year's budget.

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