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Town postpones consolidation endorsement

 Town of  Lisbon - The Town Board tonight postponed a vote on a resolution endorsing consolidation with the Village of Sussex until after a public forum on the issue scheduled for Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m at the Hamilton High School Fine Arts Center.

Town Chairman Matt Gehrke said he drafted the resolution to highlight the reasons why the town should enter negotaitions with village officials about a possible consolidation of the two communities.

Gehrke emphasized the resolution also says that town officials will not purse consolidation with the village if the idea is rejected by town voters in a non binding referendum on August 14

However, Town Supervisors agreed that action on the endorsement resolution should be postponed until after the forum Wednesday night.

"It makes sense to wait," said Supervisor Ryan LIppert.

"I think we should wait and see what happens after this week," added Supervisor Joe Osterman.

Osterman said the board could consider the resolution at its next meeting on July 9.

The resolution states that the Town Board recognizes the need for additional funding for road repairs and adding a night shift police officer to provide around the clock police protection for the town.

Gehrke argues it would be less expensive to provide those services if the town and village consolidated. The consolidation could also offer more cost effectives services to both residents of Lisbon and Sussex, according to Gehrke.

However, Supervisor Dan Fischer argues that Lisbon residents would have to pay higher taxes for consolidated services. He has noted that the town tax rates is $2.96 per $100,000 assessed valuation compared to the village tax rate of $4.73 per $1,000.

Gehrke has responded that when the tax bases of the two communities are combined to total more than $2 billion dollars, real estate taxes and fees for residents now living in Lisbon will increase about $100.

He said the $100 increase will be less than the residents who now live in the town would have to pay in the future because the town will have to raise its taxes in order to pay for the additional police office and repair town roads. 

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