With the new state law on village dissolution just days from going into effect, a group known as A Better Blasdell is fighting back with what they call their best ammunition: facts.
Urging residents to attend, village officials -- some of whom are members of the group -- pitched an upcoming information session, which will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Ilio DiPaolo's Restaurant on South Park Avenue.
"We feel it's our duty to show the costs of dissolution," Trustee David Adrian said during a Village Board meeting on Wednesday. "We will show taxpayers what they pay now and what they will pay if we're absorbed by the Town of Hamburg."
At the very least, Adrian said, A Better Blasdell hopes to provide residents with the facts so that they can make an educated decision should a dissolution vote come to the village. He added that such a vote could be forced on Blasdell residents with as few as 120 petition signatures.
Although taxpayer activist Kevin Gaughan has not approached the village with specific plans to begin a petition drive, Village Administrator Janet Plarr said public comments made by Gaughan in recent months give the village every reason to believe he will, at some point, target the village of about 2,200 residents.
Among other disadvantages of dissolution, according to A Better Blasdell, are that senior citizens and veterans could lose their eligibility for tax exemptions. They said that taxes for new fire, water, sewer and police districts that would need to be created in the wake of absorption by the town would be paid for by Blasdell residents.
In a referendum last June, Blasdell voters defeated a resolution calling for a study to dissolve the village. That vote was organized by village officials. At the time, Gaughan dismissed the results, saying the vote only proved residents don't want another study.