74
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      DeWitt Town Board approves police merger with East Syracuse

      The Town of DeWitt voted today to approve the merger of police departments with the Village of East Syracuse. The vote was 5 to 2.

      The vote will now go to neighbors in East Syracuse for a referendum.

      Those on the Dewitt town board who voted against the consolidation say even with decreased tax rates for neighbors in East Syracuse, this merger will only make the villages financial situation worse.

      Jamie Frank is a Town of DeWitt councilor. "R ight now what we're doing is we're taking on the debt of the village , to me if we wan t to save the village, let's save the village. Let's save them from being strapped to pay us the 375,000 dollars," says Frank.

      With the village already in the Town of DeWitt, officers regularly provide backup to the village.

      However, those in favor say, without this merger, DeWitt would end up hiring 4 or 5 officers anyway.

      Over the last three years property taxes have continued to go up in East Syracuse. Since then, DeWitt and the village have talked about ways to share services like the police force.

      Kerry Mannion is the Deputy Supervisor for the Town of DeWitt. "The village taxpayers will save money, it will not cost the town of DeWitt taxpayers any extra and it's just a positive change for the better of the Town of DeWitt," says Mannion.

      Ed Michalenko is the DeWitt Town Supervisor. "T he status quo can't be maintained , we have to react and we have to do something that's one , going to allow the village to relieve its tax pressures and two preserve the quality of life that they have," says Michalenko.

      This isn't a done deal just yet. East Syracuse taxpayers still have to approve it. They'll vote on the merger April 2nd. If the village approves this merger, the shared service agreement will take effect on January 1st of next year.