MASSENA - With the recent issues between the town and the village, Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray suggested forming a joint committee to work on issues concerning both the town and village, such as village police providing a presence at the airport.
We need a standing committee on town and village issues, he said, before also issuing a challenge to the village to provide some sort of funding for both the Boys & Girls Club, as well as the downtown revitalization committee.
Mr. Gray noted that since his budget proposal had been unveiled he had been approached by supporters of both groups.
Two groups that were not included in my original budget proposal were the Massena Boys and Girls Club and the downtown revitalization committee.
We need to consider that, Mr. Gray said. Im not opposed to either project. These are both great projects.
However, both projects are also closely tied to the village, leading Mr. Gray to say he feels like the village should support them financially too.
I think we should give them something, so for each dollar the village puts up, well commit $1.50, he said.
Mr. Gray said his reasoning behind the town giving more is the fact they are planning on receive roughly $500,000 in gaming compact funds next year.
Weve got a little ore flexibility with the gaming compact monies, he said.
Thats a fact that wasnt lost on Massena Mayor James F. Hidy.
Its my understanding they would be using gaming compact monies, he said.
As for whether the village will contribute to those causes and take the town up on its challenge, Mr. Hidy said that is something the board will have to discuss when it meets on Tuesday.
While Councilman John F. Macaulay said he is also supportive of both projects, he noted that if the town gave money to those efforts it would be a form of double taxation, similar to his concerns regarding airport security.
He has suggested village residents are paying twice when a village police officer is handling law enforcement responsibilities at the towns airport. The village charges the town for providing that federally mandated police presence.
Mr. Macaulay suggested determining an amount to contribute to both groups and doing so through the joint funding formula, which is based on the assessed value of the town versus the village.
That formula would see the village pay 60 percent of the contribution with the town paying for 40 percent.
If we use the joint funding process, well have no problems, he said. Well have no issues, because everyone will be taxed on their assessable value.