The lawsuit involving the annexation of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities Dow Street Substation property in the Town of Ellicott is set to start up again in State Appellate Court.
The Fourth Appellate Court will hold hearings on Tuesday, January 4th.
Mayor Eddie Sundquist said the lawsuit is between the City of Jamestown and Board of Public Utilities’ with the town of Ellicott, Village of Falconer, and the Falconer School District. He said there are still procedural issues being worked out, “One of the procedure issues ruled in favor of the city by the Supreme Court Judge here in Chautauqua County ultimately was appealed by the town of Ellicott and we’re not just hearing, the court is now just hearing it a year later. So it’s been on the docket for about a year for the Appellate Court and they’re finally getting to it.”
State Supreme Court Judge Lynn Keane‘s ruling in November 2020 did not involve whether or not the annexation is in the “overall public interest.” That argument can still be made by Ellicott and Falconer and it would have to be made in State Appellate Court
Sundquist said the city is waiting to hear if the court will impanel people for the referee panel to hear the annexation case.
City officials have argued that by annexing the property into the city limits, the Board of Public Utilities would save an estimated $160,000 each year in property taxes, thus saving money for all utility customers in the service area. They also claim such a move is in the overall public interest due to the city having a professional public safety department that could better respond to any safety emergencies that occur on the property.
Ellicott, Falconer, and the Falconer School District are all opposed to the annexation, saying it is nothing more than a money grab by the city.