Dissolution Date Looms For Busy Forestville Officials

FORESTVILLE — The scramble has started in Forestville.

With only about six weeks left until their dissolution date, Forestville officials are finding that they have a very long to-do list, and little time in which to get it done. And, while this situation should have been expected, its Sysiphian nature was apparently not.

At Tuesday’s village board meeting, Mayor Kevin Johnson named several items that needed attention. Then trustees, Village Attorney Mike Sullivan, Fire Chief Kyle Barthel, and Hanover Town Councilman Louis Pelletter added a few more.

One of the main topics of the evening was “the dump” on Walnut Road.

“Would they be interested in keeping the dump for brush and demolition?” asked Gary Belote, trustee.

“Well, if they did that, they could charge people,” Johnson said. “That’d be nice. We have never charged, but we could have. We probably should have. But, yeah, they could certainly do that.”

Belote said Hanover officials would have to “take a look” at Forestville properties and see what they needed to keep versus what they did not.

Later, though, Belote brought up selling the property.

“If we’re going to sell the dump property, how are we going to get that done by December 31?” he asked.

“I don’t think we are,” Johnson said.

“… I just don’t want to turn it all over, and then they can do what they want with it,” Belote said. “We paid for it. That sticks in my craw pretty bad. I hope other people feel the same way.”

No one pointed out that Forestville residents have always been and will remain residents of Hanover, but Sullivan did explain that this is how dissolution works. The village’s assets, whether property or money, become the town’s.

“This is still the issue, though,” Sullivan said, speaking hypothetically, “you then have the sale done, and now you have the money as opposed to the land. It’s money in the bank as opposed to land sitting there. You’re still going to have the loss of the control over what to do with it. You’re turning over the land or you’re turning over the cash.”

Johnson also pointed out that the assets of Forestville will be used for the former village residents; people in the town of Hanover outside of the current village will not benefit from a land sale.

Considering these factors, it may be best to leave the “old dump” alone, since it would mean fewer items on the village’s long to-do list, and it would give the town a nearby place to put the brush collected in the former village — since residents have expressed that they still want that service. Without the dump, Hanover employees would have to haul the brush elsewhere, potentially driving up costs of that service for former village residents.

Equipment also came up; there’s a lot, Johnson is figuring, that Hanover won’t need or want.

“How are we going to go about selling our equipment and tools and stuff?” Johnson asked. “… Do we just want to bring in an auctioneer and do it that way, or do we want to do sealed bids, or how do we want to handle it?

Sullivan advised the board that an auction would be sufficient in this case, when they’d likely want to sell equipment and tools as lots, rather than taking bids for just one or two large items. Due to the time constraints, an auction would be best.

“Anytime you sell property,” Sullivan explained, “you have to find the best way to get the most you can for it.”