Medina community stands to lose services, dedicated village employees with dissolution
The residents of Medina have a choice coming up on Jan. 20.
The choice is “Do I vote yes to support dissolution and possibly save money in my yearly taxes?” or “Do I vote no to preserve the community that I have lived in for years or recently relocated to live here?” I say vote no.
Voting to dissolve the Village of Medina that was incorporated in 1832 is not the solution.
Medina is very unique in the fact that we have a fully staffed fired department that utilized its members as Emergency Medical Technicians for the most basic EMT right up to Advanced Life Support as a paramedic. The men are dedicated and have provided a service that just last year brought in a little over 1 million dollars.
Previously this service was provided by a commercial ambulance service that had one unit here for 911 calls in the village, as well as the towns of Ridgeway, Shelby, Yates and the Village of Lyndonville. Medina Fire Department provided the backup service when the commercial unit was out of service.
With dissolution there are no guarantees that the current level of service now provided will remain the same. Fire service is a brotherhood and even though Medina fire is staffed with firefighters around the clock, we still need the assistance of our volunteer brothers to work a structure fire, just as we help them in their respective response areas.
Medina also has a staffed Police Department that answers calls to its residents in a timely matter. Outside of the village you have the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department along with the New York State Police to answer county calls. With dissolution you lose the current comfort of knowing a police officer or two will respond within mere minutes.
Our Department of Public Works runs and maintains the village streets, water, and sewer. To maintain the same level of service for this, taxes will not go down to keep the streets cleared in the winter and maintained in the summer.
Water is not guaranteed and to this point no one can answer let alone guarantee that the contract with the Niagara County Water Authority and the Village of Medina will be maintained. Local laws, village planning and zoning laws go away and will need to be brought to Town of Shelby and Ridgeway Zoning and Planning.
My point in all this is look into the promises being made about tax reductions with no loss of current services. Ask questions and become informed about what the true impact of dissolution will be, because frankly I think you will be surprised as to what you might lose and what is being promised.
Michael G. Maak
(Mr. Maak is a Medina firefighter.)