Town appeals annexation

JOHNSTOWN-The Town of Johnstown will be going to court, appealing a decision by judges on the annexation of town land to Gloversville.

Nancy MacVean, Johnstown town supervisor, said the town will appeal the decision of three judges that could allow the city of Gloversville to annex property in the town of Johnstown.

In May, a panel of Appellate Court judges – Richard T. Aulisi, Irad Ingraham and Angelo D. Lomanto – decided the annexation of developable land on Steele Avenue into the city would be in the public’s best interest.

“The proposed annexation of the Annexation Parcel to the City of Gloversville is in the overall public interest, since the annexation would be beneficial to the City and the landowners, weighing the municipal services such as police, fire protection, sewer and water services … and would create no significant injury or effect on the Town of Johnstown,” the panel wrote in the court ruling.

MacVean said their rulings were not final, but merely opinions that could influence the Appellate Division’s final decision.

The town’s appeal, MacVean said, is aimed at excluding the judges’ opinions from the deliberations. Town Attorney Cathi Radner is expected to file the appeal sometime next week.

MacVean said she felt the decision was just the judges’ opinions and it would set a bad precdedent for the town, allowing the cities to “think they can take anything they want.”

“If they want more land, they are going to have to fight for it,” MacVean said.

Daryll Baldwin, Johnstown town board member, said he was not in favor of appealing the ruling, but respected the board’s right to do so. Baldwin went on to say he has always been in favor of a revenue sharing agreement with the city of Gloversville and wanted to work out a deal with the city.

Dayton King, Gloversville mayor, sent an email to town officials, asking them to drop the appeal.

“I respectfully ask you to reconsider asking for an appeal and allow for our community to have some progress. By being annexed into the City, the sales tax and property taxes that this developed piece of property will go towards our police, fire and DPW services to the site.” King wrote. “If we were to share any of this revenue with the town, what services do you provide that would need to be offset by more property and sales tax? We really need to revisit this issue and decide that we want to be business friendly. Our tax rate is almost at its constitutional tax limit.”

King’s email also said the town provides few services.

“We are to the point that we do not want to increase our taxes and need to be able to afford what we have. It seems the Town wants to lower their taxes while providing no more services?” King asked.

King said he would be willing to meet with officials from Johnstown.

The annexed land is located behind the hospice on Steele Avenue, and portions of the property are also along Route 30A.