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Wolcott community voice concerns over proposal to dissolve village

by WayneTimes.com
December 23, 2023

Community members packed the Wolcott Village Hall Thursday, voicing their concerns as the board set a date for a public vote on whether or not to dissolve the village.

"It’s going to be one of the most important elections or votes in the history of Wolcott," one community member said. "There’s never been one more important."

Last month, a group filed a petition to dissolve the village of Wolcott, consolidating into a single town. It was certified a short time later, after the required number of signatures from registered voters was verified.

According to the state’s website, local governments often decide to consolidate with hopes of lowering tax rates and improving service efficiencies.

Village of Wolcott Mayor Christopher Henner said if the community votes to dissolve, 12 or 13 employees would be out of a job, including the two police officers employed by the village. He’s hoping residents vote against the proposal.

"We want to keep our heritage and what we have," he explained. "We have a great community, a nice village — well taken care of. 13 passionate employees who do a fantastic job. There’s just a lot of rich history, and the services we provide for the village taxpayers that towns typically don’t provide."

Jeff Smith, a local business owner, said he believes dissolving the village would be a mistake.

"I’ve been here 39 years, and I rely on them for business to keep myself going," Smith said. "As far as the town of the village, they do a great job keeping the streets clean, removing the snow. We have no snow banks ever."

In the meantime, the village will hold an informational meeting Tuesday, Jan. 9, with a vote set for March 12.

"We want to keep the village a village. That’s what we want to see," Henner said.

By Daniel Finkelstein • 13WHAM 

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