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Town issues challenge to village for Boys & Girls Club, downtown revitalization funding

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MASSENA — With the recent problems between the town and the village, town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray suggested forming a joint committee to work on issues concerning both, such as village police providing a presence at the airport.

“We need a standing committee on town and village issues,” Mr. Gray said before issuing a challenge to the village to provide some sort of funding for the Boys and Girls Club and the downtown revitalization committee.

“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,” he said. “I’m not opposed to either project. These are both great projects.”

However, both projects are closely tied to the village, so it should help with financial support, Mr. Gray said. “I think we should give them something, so for each dollar the village puts up, we’ll commit $1.50,” he said.

Mr. Gray said the town should give more because it expects to receive about $500,000 in gaming compact funds next year. “We’ve got a little more flexibility with the gaming compact monies,” he said.

That fact wasn’t lost on village Mayor James F. Hidy. “It’s my understanding they would be using gaming compact monies,” Mr. Hidy said.

As for whether the village will contribute to those causes, Mr. Hidy said it is something the Board of Trustees will have to discuss when it meets Tuesday.

Councilman John F. Macaulay said that although he is supportive of both projects, if the town gives money to those efforts, it would be a form of double taxation.

Mr. Macaulay has suggested that village residents are paying twice when a village police officer is handling law enforcement responsibilities at the town’s airport. The village charges the town for providing the 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 and the town paying 40 percent.

“If we use the joint funding process, we’ll have no problems,” Mr. Macaulay said. “We’ll have no issues, because everyone will be taxed on their assessable value.”

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