Consolidation talks between town, village set to begin

Consolidation with the town of Pomfret came up at Monday’s meeting of the Fredonia Village Board of Trustees.

During the workshop portion of the meeting, Trustee Marc Ruckman asked if any discussion had been taking place regarding the consolidation of the town with the village.

Trustee Joseph Cerrie said he was in contact with Pomfret Councilperson Ann Eckman and a committee meeting set for last week had been postponed because he said a number of members were sick. He said he expected the meeting to take place on Wednesday.

Once Pomfret’s North End Water District plans began to be put into place in 2012, both boards agreed to have two members from each board meet to discuss mutual business.

“We’ve been meeting with them on a regular basis,” Cerrie said.

The discussion was prompted by remarks by Stephen Keefe at last week’s board meeting which Keefe described as “off the cuff.” At that time, he said the village may want to consider a reduction in the number of trustees as a cost-saving measure. Ruckman asked, “Why don’t we take that a step further?”

Cerrie said a consolidation between a town and village can be achieved in several ways, including redrawing municipal boundaries to include one as part of the other. He said it is a complicated process, but one he and other board members have considered and researched to some degree.

“There is a lot of (information) online. (Village Administrator) Rick (St. George) and I went to that meeting in Buffalo about two years ago,” Cerrie said.

“Any time you have a chance to cut expenses, then it’s something you need to look at,” Keefe said.

Keefe said the board members should develop a committee to research steps toward merging the two municipalities. “It’s quite a process, but if you never start it, you never complete it,” he explained.

The next regular meeting of the village board will take place on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. when a workshop will begin. A special meeting will follow at 7:30 p.m. to consider retaining a lowyer regarding “business at the fire hall” according to St. George.

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