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.