Village of Depew prepares for referendum

Referendum likely to be held in January 2017
Posted at 9:21 PM, Oct 06, 2016

Hundreds of residents turned out to a community consultation Thursday evening to hear about the possibility of dissolving the Village of Depew.

Jesse Nikonowicz, Depew's mayor, says a referendum will likely be held in mid-January.

Nikonowicz says the main sticking point is taxes.

"Everybody wants their taxes to be lower," Nikonowicz said.

Nikonowicz is not in favor of dissolving the Village.  He believes the region's 15,000 residents will be worse off if they become part of Lancaster or Cheektowaga.

"What a lot of people aren't grasping is the fact that when the village dissolves, whatever debt is incurred has to be paid for by the residents. It's going to wind up getting put on their homes, they're going to wind up having to pay for this," Nikonowicz said.

In addition, he is mindful of the 176 jobs at stake.

Taxpayer dollars go toward the Village of Depew's Public Works department, fire department and police department.

Proponents of dissolving the village believe they will save more on taxes.  A petition, filed in September 2016, garnered more than 1,500 signatures.  Only 986 signatures were needed to qualify.