Forestville Board Members Consider Dissolving Village

FORESTVILLE – Members of the Forestville Village Board said they are sick of seeing taxpayer money thrown way and are seriously considering dissolving the village.

A discussion item was listed on last week’s agenda about dissolving the village. Trustee Ron Lineman led the short discussion by saying he has seen taxpayer money misspent in the past.

“From my experience I have watched this board for a number of years and the past administrations, they didn’t seem to care how they wasted the money of the taxpayers,” he said.

He explained during the previous administration, the board approved spending $192,000 for legal services from Michael Bolender for the water project, a figure five times the amount estimated by Municipal Solutions.

“Another problem I saw was when Mr. (Charles) Brewster was mayor and they announced the Bennett State Road project. He didn’t put the project out to bid because he said it was going to be done in-house. We have gone through the records and it was not done in-house, they were not village employees that did the job. He violated the (procurement policy) law. We don’t know how much money was wasted because it wasn’t put out to bid.

“And back in 2007, probably no one knows this, but the village spent almost $5,000 doing work on (former highway superintendent William) Bentzoni’s wife’s property because they put an illegal bridge in. The village surveyed private property and they had an engineers’ report done on private property. … There is way too much money being wasted in this village because people aren’t doing the right thing,” he said, adding he has records of more incidents where taxpayer dollars were not spent properly.

There were no other comments or discussion by the board.

After the meeting Lineman said this is something the board is seriously discussing and plans to take action on after doing more research.

An article about the dissolution of the village of Altmar into the town of Albion was handed out at the meeting. A slim majority voted for the dissolution, which according to an attached chart equated to a 38 percent reduction in village taxes with 4 percent increasing in town taxes. This difference was even further apart when the Citizen’s Empowerment Tax Credits, grant money put forward of Governor Cuomo in the 2011-2012 state budget for municipalities consolidating or dissolving, reducing the village’s taxes by 45 percent and equating to a reduction of 10 percent in the town’s taxes.

“I truly believe this is for the betterment of the village,” Lineman said.

No action was taken. The next village board meeting will be held July 9 at 7 p.m.