Forestville gets study moving

FORESTVILLE – The Forestville Dissolution Study Committee met for the first time this week to gather information toward making a decision to dissolve the village.

“The residents who have come to me have been told a lot of misinformation,” Mayor Linda Aures said. “There is a fear factor involved but we are just studying this to see if it is advantageous for the village.”

The recent meeting was opened with a discussion led by County Legislator Rod Rogers, an adviser to the committee, who said it is important for residents to have accurate and comprehensive information because of the uncertainty surrounding dissolution. Rogers recommended the committee have a third party prepare a feasibility study similar to that done by the Center for Government Research for the village of Perrysburg prior to the issue coming to a vote.

Aures said the number one concern she has heard from village residents is what would happen to the fire department after dissolution. She asked Fire Chief Kyle Barthel to explain how this would impact the department.

Barthel said the department is already looking into becoming an independent fire company whether dissolution of the village is approved by voters or not. Becoming a fire company would mean the town of Hanover and other surrounding towns would contract with the company – independent of the village – for fire protection services of the fire district encompassing the village.

The committee, which was formed at the July 23 Village Board meeting, consists of two representatives from the village board; Aures and Trustee Ron Lineman, two members of the public; Neighborhood Watch Chair and former village trustee candidate Gloria Yeager and former village mayor and town councilman Homer “Chum” Bowker, two members of the Hanover Town Board; councilmen Kenneth Cross and Kevin O’Connell, and Barthel representing the fire department. At the recent meeting Town Highway Superintendent Steve D’Angelo stood in for O’Connell.

Aures said she chose Yeager and Bowker for the committee for a specific reason.

“I asked Gloria and Chum to be on the committee because I knew they would be against dissolution. I did that on purpose because I knew they would look hard at all the facts,” she explained.

The committee decided to authorize contacting the New York State Department of State to request local government efficiency personnel meet with the committee and provide information on the dissolution process, grants and third-party assistance.

The committee will meet for a conference call with department of state personnel Thursday. This meeting is open to the public and will be held at 6 p.m. in the village hall.

“Personally, I am undecided on this because I don’t have all the facts. That’s what we are trying to do – get all the facts so we can make a logical decision and do what is best for the village. That is what is most important,” Aures added.

Questions about the dissolution committee can be directed to the village office at 965-2921.

Comments on this article may be sent to editorial@observertoday.com.