Medina’s dissolution committee meets for first time Thursday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 July 2013 at 12:00 am

MEDINA A committee that has been tasked to develop a plan for the village’s dissolution will meet for the first time at 1 p.m. Thursday. The session will be in the main meeting room at City Hall, 600 Main St.

Mayor Andrew Meier is a member of the committee. He is hopeful a plan can be developed and presented to the public by next spring. A dissolution of the village would need approval by village residents.

Medina received a $50,000 state grant to prepare the plan. The village on July 8 voted to hire a consultant and formed a committee to develop a plan for the orderly dissolution of the village. Don Colquhoun, former executive director of the Arc of Orleans, is leading the committee.

Other committee members include Cindy Robinson, a Main Street business owner and president of the Medina Business Association and the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce; Charlie Slack of Slack Insurance; Thurston Dale, a retired veterinarian; Meier; and Village Trustee Mark Irwin.

The group will work with the Center for Governmental Research to develop a plan to dissolve the village and fold those government services and assets into the towns of Shelby and Ridgeway.

CGR will be paid $55,555 for its work. The organization assisted Medina and towns of Ridgeway and Shelby with a consolidation study about two years ago. That project showed the costs of providing services could be reduced by $200,000 to $400,000 with consolidation of services, plus the state would likely give the communities $600,000 annually as incentive aid for reducing layers of government.

Meier would like to have a plan developed in the next six to nine months.  The Village Board could then accept the plan and schedule a referendum for village residents. Town residents outside the village don’t have a say at the polls on the village’s fate.

Meier believes dissolving the village and its layer of government will significantly reduce Median’s tax rate, making the community more desirable for residents and businesses. Medina has the highest combined tax rate – village, town, school and county – in the Finger Lakes region. That rate is about $54 per $1,000 of assessed property, with the village accounting for about $16 of that tax rate.