Forestville residents voice opposition

FORESTVILLE – Residents gathered at the Forestville Village Board meeting Tuesday with a unified message – Save the village of Forestville.

In July the village board formed a dissolution committee to explore the pros and cons of dissolving the village. On Aug. 8, the committee held its first meeting and a subsequent press release appeared in the OBSERVER.

Around 30 residents attended Tuesday’s meeting to voice opposition to dissolving the village.

Homer “Chum” Bowker, a member of the committee, stood to say he sees no pros to dissolving the village.

“I would like to tell you of the pros and cons of giving the village away. I will tell you that I haven’t found any pros, there may be some but I haven’t seen them yet. I spoke with Steve D’Angelo, the Highway Superin-tendent of Hanover, and he told me, number one they will not plow our sidewalks period. Number two, they will not pick up our leaves in the fall period. Number three, they will not pick up brush and metal. Number four, they will not put in new sidewalks,” Bowker said.

He went on to add, by dissolving the village and becoming part of the town of Hanover, residents will have to pay for enhanced sheriff’s coverage contracted by the town and the town will not absorb the village’s debt.

“For the past 200 years mayors, trustees and clerks have worked hard to make this a beautiful village and we can still continue to do so by working together but we need positive-thinking people to continue. I don’t know whose idea it was to dissolve but we have to work together to save our village,” he added to applause.

County Legislator Bob Duff, a Forestville property owner, also implored the board to maintain the village in memory of its past residents and the ones living there today.

“This is our home and we want to keep what our parents and grandparents had,” he said.

Former Village Clerk Marcia Peterson said she believes the board is considering dissolution at the suggestion of OBSERVER Publisher John D’Agostino.

“I think the board has decided on this initiative to dissolve the village of Forestville perhaps on the advice of the (publisher) of the Dunkirk paper, John D’Agostino. And New York says, ‘We are on a fast track, let’s hurry this up.’ No, we should not do this. If we were to dissolve the village of Forestville, what representation would we have at the town of Hanover? … We will not have a voice, we will not be the village of Forestville, we will be town of Hanover residents,” she said, adding dissolution would sacrifice the village’s identity and ability to act as a village.

Trustee Mindy Borrello thanked all the residents for coming to the board meeting to express their opinions and reminded them that this decision will go to the voters, not the board, for a final say.

Mayor Linda Aures said the committee’s mission is to find the facts on dissolution of the village and that all are welcome to attend the next committee meeting Thursday at 6 p.m. in the village hall.

The board also held a public hearing for local law No. 1 of 2013 to establish a water system capital improvement reserve. The local law was passed unanimously with Trustee David Bishoff absent, subject to permissive referendum.

The board scheduled a public hearing for its next meeting on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. to receive comments on moving the village election to November. This action will be put to a referendum vote on Nov. 5.

The board also asked for volunteers to contact the village in writing if they are interested in volunteering for registrar and deputy registrar of vital records, the zoning board, the planning board, emergency planning and disaster recovery, the audit committee or the ethics committee.

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