Cobleskill wants city study


By Jim Poole

The plan to consolidate the Town and Village of Cobleskill and create a city is moving out of the talking stage.
Village officials in this issue of the T-J are requesting proposals for a new study to examine the consolidation of services and possibly, the two municipalities.
The legal advertisement is the first step after Village Mayor Becky Terk raised the consolidation/city idea early this summer.
As a city, Cobleskill would get a larger share of county sales-tax revenue, which it should receive for the services it provides as the commercial hub of the county, Mayor Terk said earlier. More sales-tax revenue would lessen the tax burden on Cobleskill residents, she argued.
The ad says the study should look at all impacts and rate them as “positive, negative or neutral” and how city incorporation would affect the village, town and county.
In particular, Mayor Terk said Monday, the study should assess the impact on police, the school district and taxes.
“We need all the information to get buy-in if we’re going to go forward,” she said.
Proposals must be submitted by September 19.
The new study is to use a 2008 study about consolidation as “a springboard” for a new analysis.
Increased shared services were a result of the 2008 study, though consolidation and a city were recommended––but never materialized.
What’s the difference now?
“We’re looking for a solution and we’re prepared to take action,” Mayor Terk said.
“We’ve narrowed it down to city status.”
Although they didn’t get that far, officials in 2008 and beyond explored several options.
The village received the study in July 2008; in January 2009, then-Mayor Mike Sellers and trustees––in a divided vote––formed a committee to study dissolving the village, one of the options in the 2008 study.
In November 2009, Mayor-elect Mark Nadeau suggested expanding village boundaries to include the town.
About six weeks later, the Town of Cobleskill moved its offices from Shad Point to the village office on Mineral Springs Road, a shift that indicated the two municipalities would share more services.
In January 2010, the village’s Dissolution Committee dissolved itself for several reasons, not the least of which it appeared dissolution would bring no tax savings to residents.
At the same time, the village also had a City Status Committee, but that eventually dissolved also.
Mayor Terk resurrected the city idea in June after trying to get a larger share of sales-tax revenue from the Board of Supervisors.
Supervisors adjusted the formula of sharing sales-tax revenue with towns and villages, but Cobleskill wouldn’t receive as much as Mayor Terk sought.