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Village, town anticipating dissolution

Though there are no dissolution petitions circulating or cries for smaller government, Orchard Park town and village officials agree it is coming.

Village Trustee Joe Wales described Wednesday's joint work session of the town and village boards to discuss the fallout of such an action as "proactive."

He highlighted seven of the biggest concerns villagers have brought to his attention should dissolution come to their corner of the Southtowns.

Among them is whether the town could provide the weekly leaf and brush pickup villagers now enjoy rather than service once every three to six weeks, which is what town residents currently have.

Town Councilmen David Kaczor said, "I can't see us doing it every week. People will just have to get used to it. Otherwise everyone would want the same level of service."

Beautification also was on the list. Wales wondered if someone on Lake Avenue is going to be interested in paying for the 170 hanging flower baskets adorning the village in the spring and summer months, or the lighted wreaths that take their place in the winter.

The "apples to oranges" comparison drew another example: the town's Highway Department employs union workers while the village's does not. The town's water system is operated by the Erie County Water Authority while the village runs its own.

Wales said consolidation would likely mean a $2 million bond for retrofitting the village water system for conversion to Erie County water.

Town Councilwoman Nancy W. Ackerman asked, "What is the reason behind dissolution? How is this saving money? No one's talking about the repercussions."

Board colleague Edward J. Graber Jr. added, "Unfortunately, we're not required to do a cost analysis before the vote."

Town Supervisor Janis Colarusso said it is up to both town and village officials to put dollar values, including the salaries of employees, behind dissolution scenarios so there is a cost comparison.

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