JAMESTOWN – September 12 was to be the deadline for when the city of Jamestown, Village of Falconer, and Town of Ellicott would act on an annexation proposal involving the Board of Public Utilities Dow Street Substation in Falconer. However, because the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has yet to rule whether or not Jamestown can serve as lead agent in an environmental impact assessment report, the deadline may have to be pushed back.
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi updated the city council this past Monday night on the status of the annexation effort. Under state law, all three municipalities involved in the process are required to vote for or against the annexation within 90 days of a public hearing on the matter. That hearing took place on June 12, meaning the deadline for action was set for Sept. 12. But because the DEC has yet to rule on the lead agency status request, none of the municipalities can act on the annexation. There’s no word or timeline on when that DEC commissioner will issue a decision, but the reason why it may not have been provided already is because both Falconer and Ellicott have requested the city not be granted the lead agency status.
The city wants to annex the BPU substation property located between Tiffany Ave. and Dow St. in Falconer, claiming it will help to stabilize utility rates and also serve the public good due to it falling into the jurisdiction of professional fire fighters, along with a larger police force – compared to the current volunteer fire department of Falconer and smaller Ellicott Police Department. Both Falconer and Ellicott are against the effort because it would result in a loss of property taxes paid by the BPU to the two municipalities, as well as to the Falconer School District.
If all three municipalities are unable to vote in favor of the annexation, it will then go before the State Appellate court for a final ruling on the matter.