The Fourth State Appellate Court has ruled in favor of the City of Jamestown in regards to appeals filed by the Town of Ellicott in the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities’ annexation case.
Attorneys for the town of Ellicott argued in Appellate Court on January 4 that the city property assessor’s certificate for the Dow Street substation property did not satisfy state law for annexation. They argued that the property isn’t adjacent to the city line because a road separates the property from adjoining to the city boundary. Under state law, municipalities can only annex properties that are adjacent to their own boundaries.
This was an appeal of the ruling in Chautauqua County Supreme Court by Judge Lynn Keane in November 2020 that the property did meet state law requirements.
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist said the Fourth Appellate Court dismissed all the appeals on the matter and is now sending the case back to State Supreme Court, “And we are hopeful that once that happens a referee panel will be picked and the case will continue in its normal manner.”
Sundquist said the referee panel will hear the entire case for annexation.
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.