(7:10 PM) BPU To Begin New Annexation Process For Substation Process
The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities board has unanimously approved a resolution asking the City Council to begin a new annexation process for the BPU’s Dow Street Substation.
The resolution was passed after a lengthy discussion of the board in an executive session Wednesday.
Council members can choose to either begin annexation proceedings again or deny the BPU’s request.
The last attempt to annex the property ended in August when the Fourth Department Appellate Division dismissed the city’s petition on a technicality, saying the city’s original proceeding was untimely. According to the court’s ruling, the proceeding needed to be brought within 30 days after the filing in the office of the county clerk. The court ruled that the town of Ellicott, village of Falconer and the Falconer Central Schools filed their petitions with the clerk’s office that the annexation was not in the overall public interest on Sept. 13, 2017. The city didn’t file that the annexation is in the overall public interest until Nov. 8. That meant the appellate court didn’t have to make a ruling on the annexation proposal’s merits and the questions of law presented.
“We therefore dismiss the petition in the original proceeding as untimely,” the decision states. “Because we dismiss the petition in the original proceeding, i.e., the proceeding by which review can be had of respondents’ determinations that annexation is not in the public interest.”
Officials in Falconer and Ellicott opposed the annexation proposal because it would cost them tax revenue. Currently, the BPU pays a total of around $325,000 in property tax payments to the village of Falconer ($69,000); town of Ellicott ($34,000); Falconer Central Schools ($154,000); and Chautauqua County ($69,000). The annexation would have saved the BPU $173,000 in property tax payments to the town, village and school district annually. Jamestown and the Jamestown Public School District each would have received tax equivalency payments of around $80,000 a year from the BPU, less than the amount that the BPU pays to Ellicott, Falconer and the Falconer Central School District.