FALCONER – Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist recently joined officials from Falconer in meeting with County Executive PJ Wendel and State Senator George Borrello to discuss the potential annexation of the Board of Public Utilities Dow Street Substation property in Falconer.
According to the Jamestown Post-Journal, Falconer Central School District superintendent Stephen Penhollow commented on the meeting during Tuesday night’s Falconer School Board meeting. Pennhollow said the group met on Monday to have a general conversation about the annexation – which would involve the substation property being annexed into the city of Jamestown. If that were to happen, the village of Falconer, Falconer School District and Town of Ellicott would all lose tax revenue from the property.
“We started conversations, which is something that we asked for when we attended the November city council meeting to look at areas of conversations versus litigation,” the paper quotes Penhollow as saying. “I feel confident that conversation will be had. We will make every effort possible to listen to what the city and the BPU have to say.”
Sundquist did not mention the meeting when during the public portion of Monday night’s Jamestown City Council work session, although he and the council did go into executive session to discuss several matters, including litigation. Executive sessions are not open to the public and as a result the specific details of what was discussed is not made public.
The annexation effort already stalled out once when the Jamestown City Council voted in favor of annexation in the summer of 2017, only to have it challenged by Ellicott and Falconer in the state supreme court appellate division. The court eventually ruled against Jamestown on a technicality, claiming the city failed to file paperwork for the case in a timely fashion.
On Nov. 25, 2019, the city council again voted to pursue annexation and a public hearing on the matter took place on Dec. 30. However, the city council has to yet to formally vote again on whether or not to annex the property and its not known if or when that will occur.
Former Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi was in favor of the annexation, saying it was in the best public interest of the entire BPU service area. Falconer and Ellicott officials disagree and have said it is nothing more than an attempt by the city to shift revenue away from the affected municipalities.
Sundquist, who was sworn into office just a week ago, has said in the past that he has reservations about proceeding with the annexation without first sitting down and meeting with the other parties involved to see if a more amicable solution can be found.