The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

October 3, 2012

Consolidation committee charts new course

Medina Journal-Register — SHELBY— The group of municipal board members from the Village of Medina and the Towns of Ridgeway and Shelby who have met for advisory meetings in recent months has re-established the purpose of their committee and its meeting structure.

Officials from all three municipalities said Monday that they intend to continue their monthly meetings on possible avenues for shared services and cost-saving measures under the guidance of an independent facilitator.

“We’re looking at what we can start to do in earnest,” Medina Mayor Andrew Meier said after discussing a shared water-billing operation and expanded highway department cooperation. “This was an effective meeting.”

The talks between the 11 board members at Monday’s meetings remain exploratory and their findings advisory. Orleans County EDA Vice President Gabrielle Barone, who filled in as meeting facilitator for former Arc of Orleans County Executive Director Don Colquhoun, said any consolidation or sharing options need to follow careful planning.

“We can’t do anything without understanding our infrastructure,” Barone said.

Talks will continue Nov. 5, with board members hoping to hear from Medina Public Works Superintendent Pete Houseknecht, Shelby Highway Superintendent Mike Fuller and Ridgeway Highway Superintendent Mark Goheen.

“We’re interested in what they propose,” Ridgeway Supervisor Brian Napoli said. “CGR was impressed by what they already do informally.”

The committee’s work began in June with a pair of presentations by officials from the Village of Seneca Falls. With Medina seeking funding for a study into a similar move, board members said they will act to avoid the issues faced by Seneca Falls, which dissolved into the surrounding Town of Seneca Falls at the beginning of the year.

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