Shelby, Lyndonville also press state for more municipal aid

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 February 2015 at 12:00 am

The Village of Lyndonville and Town of Shelby have both gone on the record in asking the State Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to distribute municipal aid in a fairer way, rather than the current lopsided approach that directs an overwhelming majority of the funds to cities in Upstate New York.

The Medina Village Board passed a resolution on Monday calling on fairness in Aid and Incentives to Municipalities. The state allocates $714 million in AIM funding, and 90 percent goes to upstate cities. That gives the average city resident about $277 per capita in aid, while town and village residents only get an average of $7 per person.

“It should be equal for each resident, across the board,” said Ken Schaal, a Shelby town councilman. “This is very unfair to rural residents.”

The Shelby Town Board passed a resolution on Feb. 10, calling for more aid for the towns and villages.

“We are tired of the millions of dollars that are given to upstate cities. We believe it is time for our fair share,” Town Clerk Darlene Rich said in an email to State Sen. Robert Ortt, Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Assemblywoman Jane Corwin.

Shelby passed the resolution after a vote to dissolve the Village of Medina was rejected by village residents on Jan. 20. Schaal said the Town Board wanted to show support for more aid for the villagers.

He said the town and village have many of the same issues as cities with aging infrastructure and the need to provide services and push for economic development, initiatives that don’t come cheap.

The Lyndonville Village Board passed the resolution on Jan. 12, one week after Orleans Hub proposed a draft resolution, urging the local elected board to pass resolutions for more AIM funding. Click here to see “Here’s a resolution that every elected official in Orleans should support.”