About the study
Incorporated in 1911, the Village of North Collins was established when it was the hub of numerous commercial and business operations centered primarily, although not exclusively, around the local agriculture. Nearby farms grew tomatoes, beans, beets, carrots, corn, etc which were transported to the centrally located canning factories. With an established (1916) water supply system, access to major thoroughfares, proximity to the city of Buffalo and railroad transportation availability, the Village grew in population for decades. Although never a rich community, the Village was able to prosper (even thrive) throughout both World Wars and into the 1960's and 1970's.
The one (1) square mile of the Village of North Collins reached a peak population of approximately 1,829 in 1970. At present, according to the most recent census, the population of the Village is reported to be 1,072.
Changes in the agriculture-business and especially in the closing of the canning factories and other businesses began a slow but steady decline in the tax base for the Village along with its population base.
Since 1970, the decline in population within the Village has been 27%.
Conversely, the Township's population has steadily increased over the same period of time.
As the largest (geographically) township in New York State North Collins currently maintains a total population of 2,167. Geographically about the same size as the City of Buffalo, there have been two (2) municipal governments for nearly 100 years.
As the North Collins Village Board began to examine the role of Village government and its costs, the question of whether there was a need for both governments was pursued. To examine and evaluate this issue a decision to pursue a feasibility study, under the auspices of a New York State Department of State L.G.E. (Local Government Efficiency) grant was pursued.
A grant for $49,500 was received and the initial phases have begun. A steering committee comprised of members of both Boards, members of the community (the Town has 3 members and the Village 2) and the Village/Town attorney have established a meeting schedule, a time frame to complete a review of the services provided by both municipalities and a process for developing a plan which will consider: merging of service, consolidation of services and/or dissolution of the Village.
It is the committee's responsibility, based on the collaboration with the Center for Governmental Research (CGR), based in Rochester, NY, to prepare a plan to present to the Village Board that details an overview of the results along with implications that address merging/consolidation and/or dissolution.
It is the Village Board's responsibility to examine that report and authorize a referendum for Village residents (only) to determine the direction to take.
A target date is anticipated to coincide with the Village elections in March 2010.