Should Village of Wolcott dissolve? Views are divided

Should the Village of Wolcott dissolve?

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WOLCOTT, N.Y. — More and more villages in the Rochester area and surrounding counties are disappearing.

The village of Wolcott may be joining the long list. There is currently a petition filed to dissolve the village.

There was a village meeting tonight for residents of the village to share their thoughts. Present at the meeting is the LaBerge group, a private company that will be auditing the village in order to provide insight into the consequences of dissolving the village.

The Village of Wolcott lies in the boundaries of two towns, Butler and the Town of Wolcott. The mayor said that because of this, the village provides its residents and businesses with necessary services.

Wolcott Mayor Christopher Henner said, “Here in the village, we provide water, sewer, police, highway, parks, storm sewers, you name it that’s our infrastructure. There’s a huge difference between the two, and we have to do more with less and were pretty good at that. Inherently you see a lot of the smaller municipalities do run more efficiently with providing those service”.

If the village were to dissolve, the towns would have to re-structure these service. The mayor also said that 13 people could lose their jobs.

Those who live and work in the village are split on the issue,

Allan Gow, a resident of the village, said, “One of the biggest considerations in dissolving the village in a lot of people’s minds might be the fact that they’ll save close to 13 percent thereabouts on their taxes. Because village residents pay taxes in the village and the town of Wolcott.”

While some are pushing for lower taxes, others want to preserve the history of their village.

Village barber Bob Reed and his family have lived and worked in the village for generation.

Reed said, “This business was a barber shop for 50 years before I moved in. So, the man that cut my hair as a little boy is who I bought the shop from. We have roots here, my grandfather was a blacksmith in this town in the early 1900s, so for me it’s family”.

Before the official vote on March 12, the LaBerge group will hold another meeting to report their findings.