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Youngstown 'staying put' on calls to dissolve

Sat, Nov 10th 2018 07:00 am
Reynolds, trustees reject calls for study
Article and photos by Terry Duffy
Despite calls by some its residents to dissolve, it appears that, for now, the Village of Youngstown is staying put on considering any changes.
So announced Mayor Raleigh Reynolds to an email received from resident Mike Stella, owner of the Mug and Musket, who had requested the Village board of Trustees schedule a forum to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of dissolving the village government.
Earlier in the session, residents, including Stella, offered their thoughts to trustees on the idea of dissolving village government. It marked yet another session where the topic of dissolving the village government was raised.
This time, comments were decidedly mixed.
"Certainly, everything (here) is neither one sided or the other sided," stated one village resident. "Whatever side prevails, normally there's some modifications that work for both sides."
Originally from Williamsville, the resident went on to offer positive views on Reynolds and current trustees in their ability to adequately handle village affairs within budget. He cited such areas as the village DPW, Parks and Recreation, and the village Engineering Department on their abilities to handle projects within reasonable cost, versus utilizing the services of others, such as Niagara County.
"Really, we get two for one when having the village. It pays off, no question. I think we really, really owe it to ourselves to try to help maintain it," said the resident to applause by visitors.
In his remarks, Stella said there was a "lot of detail" to consider when dissolving and suggested Reynolds and the village trustees objectively consider the pros and cons of such a move. "There obviously involves a lot of financial detail. I think the only way you're really going to understand that is to invite in some of the experts" on this."
Resident James Hildreth of River Road called the village "a great place to be. What you study are places that aren't as good as this place, places like Williamsville, Lockport. You got a gem here. And I would hang on to it."
Still another resident from Jackson Street stated that any tax savings realized would then translate into more taxes imposed by the Town of Porter should the village in fact dissolve.
In remarks later on, Reynolds said any calls for studies to dissolve are premature. "Officially, we have nothing on the table at this point, so it would be premature at this point to schedule anything," he said.
With that, the matter was put to bed for the night.
In other news:
•A representative of developer BG Innovations LLC of Buffalo appeared before the board with a conceptual plan for the long-dormant Cold Storage site on Second Street. Still in the discussion stage, the BG plan for the property across from the Youngstown Volunteer Fire Co. could see upward of 40 to 60 rental units built on the property in five to eight separate townhouse buildings, with garages on a green space setting.
The BG representative told the trustees his firm was still working on preparing a budget for the project as well as pursuing bank financing, and was seeking a short-term commitment from the village on the property. The matter was left with the village intending to continue discussions with the BG developer.
•Village trustees accepted a $10,142 check from St. John's Episcopal Church of Youngstown, representing donations raised by parishioners and the community, businesses and local organizations. It will go toward a village-Town of Porter purchase of a new, $28,000 van for use by seniors in Youngstown and Porter.
Parishioner Doreen Enman, 93, of Youngstown, a regular user of senior van services, presents a check on behalf of St. John's to Mayor Raleigh Reynolds toward purchase of a new senior van for residents of Youngstown and Porter.
Youngstown Village Trustees listen to plans by developer BG Innovations of Buffalo for the Cold Storage site on Second Street.

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