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Lyons residents react to dissolution vote

Posted at: 11/07/2012 11:32 PM
By: Lynette Adams

It has been around since the late 1700s, and  is known as the Peppermint Village, but last night a small group of residents voted to dissolve the Village of Lyons. The vote was close, 569 to 524. However, the debate rages on.

People who support the dissolution say it will cut taxes and streamline government. But people against, say it will mean losing the village's image and services, only for a few dollars in savings.

When Jerry Ashley left Seattle Washington for Lyons, Wayne county almost 5 years ago. He couldn't believe what he could buy for the small cabin he lived in out west. Home prices and the quaint village atmosphere won his heart. Ashley was such a cheerleader...HE Was soon hired to promote Lyons and go after new business. Now his village could soon become only a memory.

“I think this is very unfortunate to see this happen right now when there's been so many good things happening in Lyons and I think this has been very divisive.”

Ashley is referring to last night's referendum to dissolve the Village of Lyons.  It passed. Much to the relief of former Mayor John Salone. He started the campaign to dissolve the village 15 years ago when he says he saw economic troubles down the road.

“A lot of our private industry had left us. Our biggest employers now are all taxpayer funded. The county, the town, the school, the village. Well the taxpayers can't keep funding the major employers or something has to give.”

Village trustee Joanne Greco disagrees and voted no.

“The only possible saving that i see are the board fees, which averages about maybe $23,000 and that's not a big tax deduction. the only other thing they can save on is to get rid of the fire and the police and there's no way we can be without that. there's just no way.”

Greco says the image of the Peppermint Village is at stake. For the few hundred dollars residents would save each year.

“We're still Lyons and when you go to the post office and send a letter its 14489 and they don't say are you town or Village. It's Lyons and we're still going to be Lyons,” said Salone.

Greco says the village has already consolidated the school system and the department of public works. She thinks even more could be accomplished, if they board and the mayor had more time!

The mayor will now have to appoint a special committee to outline how the village will be dissolved and how the services, like police and fire will be covered. These would all become a part of the town, and both municipalities would have to agree on the plan. And if they do, this could happen within the year.