DEPEW, N.Y. (WIVB) – Tuesday neighbors in Depew will decide whether to dissolve the Village.
Here’s whats at stake:
Whether taxpayers will save money, the fate of 176 village employees, and the impact on the towns of Lancaster and Cheektowaga, which surround Depew and would have to absorb it.
It’s something some are calling a life or death vote.
Mary Curr and her husband William volunteer with The Friends of Depew organization in hopes of putting a stop to a petition to dissolve their village. Curr said, “Lives are going to be at stake here, and that’s all there is to it.”
If approved, Depew ambulance, fire and police would no longer exist. Curr said, “Once we get rid of this village, it’s done. There’s no going back.”
They worry about response times in emergency situation. Curr said, “If you add an extra minute or two, if someone is in a fire, or someone is having a heart attack or a stroke, if someone needs CPR, that’s it, you’re done.”
Those opposed say there’s been very little information provided to the public about any potential cost savings or what would happen if the village is eliminated. They were asked to sign a petition.
News 4 spoke with dissolution supporters who say village debt is out of control and tax levy has gone up 86 percent over a 13 year period.
They say Depew taxpayers on the Cheektowaga side could save up to $975 a year in taxes, while Depew taxpayers on the Lancaster side could save up to $1,050.
Village trustee Bob Kaucewicz says voters in villages across new york first vote their initlal feeling on the dissolution without any facts outling the actual impact. He feels this encourages a misinformed vote.
He said, “We’re going to ask people to vote, we’re going to be river-boat gamblers and go out to vote for something that we have no knowledge of. It’s ridiculous.”
The village prepares a plan after the fact if residents vote for dissolution. Polls are open Tuesday from noon to nine at the Depew Village Hall.
For more on the Dissolve Depew petition and to learn more behind the numbers head to this website.
To learn more about the Friends of Depew organization, you can visit their webpage here.