Hearings were held in Fourth Appellate Court Tuesday in the lawsuit involving the annexation of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities Dow Street Substation property in the Town of Ellicott.
Attorneys for the town of Ellicott and City of Jamestown both discussed the issue of whether the property was eligible for annexation.
Previously, the town of Ellicott and village of Falconer had argued in State Supreme Court that the city property assessor’s certificate for the property did not satisfy state law.
However, Judge Lynn Keane had ruled in November 2020 that it did despite Ellicott attorneys arguing 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.
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.