Villages have limited resources to build up downtown business districts

Posted 30 January 2016 at 12:00 am


I read the letter on Jan. 24 which was part of a challenge from Orleans Hub to promote Orleans County.

While the letter succeeded in promoting the school districts, it took an unnecessary shot at the communities that support these schools. As a property owner and taxpayer in Lyndonville I am pleased to see that the schoolchildren of the LCSD are excelling in the various categories listed.

I am not so pleased to read what the writer inserted next:

“As one drives through the crumbling and near empty downtown blocks of each village, there is a temptation to believe that the cultural identity and importance of Albion or Holley or Lyndonville have disappeared with the Erie Canal.”

Why write that? The very same property owners that are directly taxed by the school districts and the same districts are paid by New York State, also pay county, town and village taxes. They are paying to maintain these districts as well as keeping some semblance of order where they live.

There is a limited pot of money to draw from, especially when the County and State governments tightly control what is returned to the taxpayers. Keeping empty downtown blocks from crumbling is not such an easy task. Downtown blocks would be better off with thriving businesses, which are short supply.

James Tuk
Editor’s Note: Mr. Tuk is deputy mayor of the Village of Lyndonville.