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Fulton Moves Ahead With Plans to Annex Granby Land into the City

Mayor Ron Woodward signs the resolution that tells the state there is no environmental impact from the proposed annexation of land from Granby.  Lawyer John Allen of Bond, Schoeneck and King, representing the city in the annexation, stands at right.  City Clerk/Chamberlain Jim Laboda is in the background.
Mayor Ron Woodward signs the resolution that tells the state there is no environmental impact from the proposed annexation of land from Granby. Lawyer John Allen of Bond, Schoeneck and King, representing the city in the annexation, stands at right. City Clerk/Chamberlain Jim Laboda is in the background.

Fulton city lawmakers Tuesday decided to keep moving forward with plans to take land from the town of Granby over the town’s objections.

The land is the site of the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.  It’s fairly rare for one government to pay taxes to another, but because the city’s plant is in Granby, city taxpayers pay nearly $116,000 a year in county, town, school, fire district and highway district taxes.  Taxes are going up next year because the state has raised the value of the plant and land by $900,000. Annexation would eliminate all of that spending.

Town residents scolded the city at a recent public hearing, saying that the city simply wanted a way to keep on spending too much money. One resident told city leaders they should work their own problems out without hurting the town.  Granby Supervisor Ed Williamson said he asked the state to reduce the assessment on the plant, but the state refused.

Mayor Ron Woodward has argued that lowering the cost of operating the plant will help attract industry to the city because the cost of water and sewer services is a large expense.

The city and town have each hired lawyers and the process is underway.

Fulton’s hopes rest on a novel interpretation of the rules governing annexation.  Land being annexed generally has to share a border with the community doing the annexing.  The city is using its Indian Point Park as the land bordering the treatment plant’s property.  The two properties sit across the Oswego River from each other.  The land beneath the river belongs to the state.

Tuesday, lawmakers approved an environmental impact statement on the annexation.  The city’s outside lawyer, John Allen of Bond, Schoeneck and King, said there would be no change to the environment from the annexation.  “All that is happening here is the change of address,” he said.  “Exactly the same operations before as after.”

After that, lawmakers approved a petition to the state to allow the annexation.  Allen said the impact on taxpayers in the town and school district would be minimal, about $7.50 on the tax bill of the average home.

Now the battle begins.  The state can allow the annexation over the objections of the town, as it did years ago when the land where River Glen Plaza sits was annexed into the city over the objections of the town of Volney.

A court decided the annexation case then and is likely to do so this time as well.

2 Comments

  1. So Fulton’s pervasive lack of big business investment hinges on the Mayor’s assertion that “lowering the cost of operating the plant will help attract industry to the city because the cost of water and sewer services is a large expense.” This annexation, if successful, will have ZERO impact on making Fulton an attractive place to do business. The Mayor plan (or lack thereof) is simply to cave in to any prospective company by offering them tax abatement for several years. No taxes coming in to the city’s general fund isn’t going to be offset by a couple dozen people finding low end blue collar jobs. I wish somebody a bit younger and more in tune with reality and adept at navigating the current economic environment would run for Mayor. The current Mayor’s platform didn’t work 20 years ago and still doesn’t. Any takers?!?

  2. THE COST OF THE WATER AND SEWER WOULD BE LOWER IF WE DIDNT PAY THEM TO MOW THE WATER DEPT’ LAWNS TWICE A WEEK FROM APRIL TILL NOVEMBER! THATS ABOUT 28 TIMES! I’VE MOWED MY LAWN 13 TIMES . THATS LESS THAN HALF OF WHAT THEY DO. THEY HAVE TO MOW IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS SO THEY CAN TELL WHERE THEY’VE MOWED. THE WATER DEPT LAWN LOOKS LIKE WRIGLEY FIELD. TIGER WOODS COULD EVEN PLAY THERE.

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