Consolidation has been the buzz word throughout many New York State communities as cash-strapped municipalities search for a way to provide needed services while staying under budget. In the Village of East Syracuse, leaders are considering consolidating police services. As YNN's Erin Clarke tells us, the community will get a chance to weigh in very soon.
EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- After about three years and some independent studies of the way the Village of East Syracuse operates, officials came to the realization that many municipalities across the state have faced.
"It's time to look at some alternatives for the people or taxes are certainly going to have to be raised," said Village of East Syracuse Mayor Danny Liedka.
When it comes to safety, the village has a police department of six full-time employees and eight part-timers, the police chief and a clerical position. As of last year, the department accounted for about 23 percent of the total village appropriations.
"It was over $600 per $100,000 house is what was going to the village police department from a village tax payer," said Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci.
A proposed plan would abolish the department and the village would share police services with the Town of DeWitt. That is expected to save the average homeowner 30 to 35 percent in village taxes, add a slight increase in the town tax, but result in net savings of about $530.
But as with any plan to get rid of a service provided exclusively for a certain community, there will be people with strong opinions on both sides.
"Some people once they hear some of their questions answered and some of their fears are overcome, I think they're supportive, but we certainly have some people that are dead set against it," said Mayor Liedka.
The village mayor says he wants all of those opinions to be heard before a decision is made. A public hearing will be held in September to discuss the plan.
"Times are what they are and we have to explore other options and let people make an educated choice," said Liedka.
After all the facts are set forth, a referendum on the proposal will likely happen in the fall.
The public hearing will be held at the St. Matthews School on Wednesday, September 19th.