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Pembroke Town Board tackles village of Corfu dissolution issues

PEMBROKE – The Pembroke Town Board, in an effort to be prepared if and when Corfu residents vote for dissolution of their village, met Monday night to address issues such as the formation of lighting, sidewalk and brush pickup districts; police coverage; employment liabilities; and the future of the village’s $500,000 general fund balance.

The meeting in front of about 25 people in Town Hall was called in response to the Corfu Village Board’s decision to dissolve and to find out what services the town could provide for the village’s 700 residents.

The village of Corfu is in the southern part of the town of Pembroke.

“We’re here to figure out how to absorb the village and iron out some of these details the best we can” in the event of a dissolution of the village, said Town Attorney Mark S. Boylan, who was joined by town accountant Laura Landers to answer questions from board members.

Boylan said that the town could cover the cost of streetlights currently in the village, but with other services – such as sidewalks and the pickup of lawn waste – special districts would have to be formed.

“These districts would have to exist on their own, have to be self-sustaining and would pay separately through what that district would charge,” he said.

He said he would “lean toward” a per-unit charge for sidewalk maintenance and repair – where everyone pays the same rate.

Currently, sidewalk repairs in the village are done by private contractors. It was reported that two Corfu streets – Depot Street and Prospect Avenue – need to be milled and resurfaced at a cost of at least $60,000, and possibly up to $200,000.

Discussion about police coverage in what is now the village focused on contracting with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office on an hourly basis. Board members said no formal agreement has been approved, but they did mention allocating $60,000 for the Sheriff’s Office for increased patrols, buying blocks of time in four-hour increments.

Boylan said the board would be responsible for any costs related to unemployment or other compensation related to former Village of Corfu employees. Councilman Edward G. Arnold Jr. said that the town would hope to hire a current village maintenance worker, who would be supervised by Highway Superintendent Steven Stocking.

Landers said an audit of May 31, 2014 – the close of the village’s fiscal year – showed the village of Corfu had assets of $538,000 in the general fund and $106,000 in the sewer fund.

When Arnold asked what happens to this money upon dissolution, Boylan said he would seek an opinion from the state Comptroller’s Office.

“It would seem that you could make the argument that revenue raised by Corfu village taxes could be spent down” to pay for dedicated services, he said.

In any event, he reinforced the fact that the town is in no position to make any commitments until “village residents vote for dissolution and (that area) becomes town property.”

Edward L. Beideck, a town resident and member of a joint town-village dissolution committee, said he hopes the village moves forward on this subject following Wednesday’s elections.

“I would think that we could get a vote on this sometime this summer,” he said.