A blog dedicated to the local government, development, and future prospects of the town of Geddes and the Fairmount area.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

New Thread on Geddes Electric Commission

There has been plenty of interest and debate over the idea of expanding Solvay Electric to the entire Town of Geddes area. I will summarize both sides of the debate, and welcome expanded discussion of it. I see merit in both arguements, and to me (so far) they carry equal weight.

1. For those living in the Village of Solvay (and Lakeland):
I think that Solvay Electric is the best thing that the village has going for it, and it is the main reason for me to stay in an area that is taxed higher, and has a lower ranked school (education wise) than Westhill. I don't believe that it should be expanded because all it will do is cause people to leave the village for the Westhill district, and will increase energy rates for those that already have Solvay Electric service.
2. For those living in the Town of Geddes outside the Village of Solvay:
There is no reason that the rest of the town should not enjoy reduced electrical rates that the village currently pays. We should be able to expand the municipality to allow increased energy distribution to homes in the rest of the town. Bulk purchases of energy are still below NatGrid rates, and would save residents hundreds of dollars. Cheaper energy would also boost property values for the entire town.
As I said, I can see both sides of the argument.

Time to stir the pot, and play devil's advocate:

Do we really need two separate police forces? Separate governments? Zoning boards? Garbage pickup? And yes, even - school districts? Would a broader municipal government and municipal electric be a better choice for residents? Would combining Solvay and Westhill high schools into a larger comprehensive district improve education to all within the town borders?

Wouldn't we save taxes, reduce governmental redunancy, and decrease energy costs for all?

Deeper questions: Would Solvay School District residents share their muni power with the rest of the town in order to meld the district into Westhill? Is this even possible? Would Westhill school district residents welcome their classic rivals into the district in order to raise education levels? Would anyone be willing to cede power to streamline the government, save taxes, and pursue consolidation?

My guess is none of this will take place. But it will at least get people to start thinking outside the box. People in the village need to start thinking seriously about what they would want out of the deal. There must be something worth having the rest of the town included in muni power. You have powerful bargaining chip. Is it worth not taking advantage of it to say, "we have it, you can't and that's just the way it is"? For residents outside of the village, what would we be willing to spend or do to get the muni power? Should we not still provide some incentive to stay within the Solvay borders for residents and potential homeowners?

Now that I have gotten everyone fired up... Start firing away.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

there will be many points of view
from your suggestions of merger/consolidation for tax savings and efficiency, if the city and county can't agree why are
we so different. the years of waste
will stop, we bleed out of ignorance and self pride as to energy cost, economic development ,
local control. the old police issue
for many has left a bitter taste in
our hearts. only a referendum worked by months of care might give
a vision. schools have also been the leaders in bond issues for change, however the stratagies of
some have also created a anger for
the preceived over spending for
the additional facilities that are
not seen as class room needs.
syracuse university has years of
committee and community study that
shows details of money to be saved
in areas of local government, public schools and public safety
management. County personnel has
for years opened its officies to
aid local management and benfits
issues. as a practical answere these suggestions are blocked by
boards and unions that are protectors of nepotism, and hiring
practices that are self serving.

1:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was glad to read there are options for this proposed elctric
service to westvale. according to the papers, we can buy, merg or
create a electric department. I know we are all waiting for the
plus or minus to these options, so
as one writer said lets have a
cherry road town meeting to talk?
if there is a option, I assume we
have to have a referendum? and does the village vote or pay for this cost? lakeland would be charged too?

6:23 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the solvay mayor said at solvay seniors meeting at the vfw, that the village is not going to buy the westvale service area from national grid. if the town wishes to spend the 50 million dolllars for this area or the equipment owned by the power company, solvay would then look into if the power
could be avialable for sale? my children live in westvale, and if
the village or plants that are now
not operating are restored, they are not likely to see this power
at anywhere near the solvay power
rates, as per the mayor! can you
imagine spending 50 million dollars
for these 1500 homes to get power,
with the payback cost less power?
I hope that the mayors description of windmill farms on the shores of
onondaga lake, don't play with our
town officials heads?

10:29 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHAT A STORY IN SUNDAYS PAPER ON THE ISSUE OF MUNICIPAL POWER. I HOPE THAT WE ALL READ IT WITH THE
TRUE AND SINCERE FACTS OF WHAT THE
POWER BUSINESS IS AND WHAT IT TAKES
TO CREATE CHANGE TODAY.

3:01 PM

 
Blogger baloghblog said...

There is no doubt that there would be a substantial cost to acquiring the infrastructure from natgrid. However, is it possible that this investment could be made in a bond form? Deferring some of the cost to the future, paying it off over time? This would certainly make the endeavor more agreeable to many.

I thought that the tone of the post-standard piece made it sound "not worth the effort", and was rather negative. A similar piece could have been written from the benefits side, emphasising the cost savings over the years for area residents.

6:26 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ATTENDED LAST TWO TOWN BOARD MEETINGS AS YOU SUGGESTED. I HAVE
NOT NOTED A WORD ABOUT POWER TO WESTVALE? GLAD WE HAVE SPENT TWO
MILLION DOLLARS ON ROADS, TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND ON HIGHWAY EQUIPT.
AND BOUGHT HIGHWAY COMMISSIONER A NEW CAR. WHERE IS OUR POWER COMMITEE REPORT?

11:49 AM

 
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11:53 PM

 

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