JAMESTOWN – The wait continues on the outcome of a legal case that could have huge financial implications for the city of Jamestown, along with the Town of Ellicott, Village of Falconer, and Falconer School District.
It’s been over a year since the Jamestown City Council voted to annex a piece of city-owned property from the Village of Falconer and Town of Ellicott. But because both the Ellicott Town Board and Falconer Village Board voted against the annexation of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities’ Dow Street Substation property, the matter has to be ruled on by the New York 4th Appellate Division court in Rochester.
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi told WRFA earlier this week that oral arguments and testimony were given to a three-member tribunal from the appellate division earlier this month in Mayville, with officials from Jamestown, the BPU, Ellicott, village of Falconer and the Falconer School District all offering details on the case. The mayor adds that at this point, the tribunal is likely putting together a report that will be given to the five-members of the appellate court in Rochester. Once the justices of the appellate court review all information, they will then likely call attorneys for both sides to Rochester for one final hearing where final arguments can be made before they rule on the matter.
At this point, the case has yet to appear on the appellate division’s docket, which now includes both the month of November and December. As a result, Teresi said he anticipates a court date for the final arguments to be made in either January or February of next year.
So far more than half a million dollars has been spent on legal fees associated with the case. The city is using BPU funds to pay its attorney fees, while the village, town and school district are using their own funds to cover the cost.
If the city is able to annex the property, the BPU will save an estimated $160,000 per year by no longer having to pay $320,000 in property taxes to the school district, the town, the village, and the county. Instead, it would make an annual payment in lieu of taxes ofa bout $80,000 to both the city and the Jamestown School District.