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Ossining/Briarcliff Annex Study Draws Large Crowd

Over 150 people attended a presentation last night at the Anne M Dorner Middle School on the possible annexation of two Ossining town districts by Briarcliff.

Briarcliff village manager Philip Zegarelli presented results of a study showing that there would be a net benefit per year to Briarcliff of between $362,309 and $695,000 if the Town of Ossining’s election districts 17 and 20 are annexed, and a net savings of $331,000, or 14.4 percent in taxes to districts 17 and 20.

“I think it’s a hot issue. No one likes to pay taxes. Everyone wants good services. Everyone wants as much cost savings as possible. That being the case, how do you translate that need and desire into action?” said Zegarelli.

Over 80 signatures have been collected from people in districts 17 and 20 to put the issue on a referendum. ITo get that to happen 20 percent of residents from the two districts, or about 300 out of 1,500 residents, must sign the petition.

“I think I can blow past 300 people quickly,” said Art Sullivan, a district 20 resident who has been collecting signatures for the referendum. “We already have 80 signatures and we haven’t even started going door to door yet.”

Sullivan believes that having Briarcliff annex the two districts would save on taxes and result in better services for him and his neighbors.

Town of Ossining Supervisor Catherine Borgia disagrees.

The districts contain a commercial strip along North State Road, and losing those businesses would be detrimental to not only the unincorporated parts of the Town of Ossining, but also to the Village of Ossining which depends on that source of revenue, she said.

In addition to the discussion on the annexation, Ossining Village Mayor William Hanauer also announced last night that the Village of Ossining and the Town of Ossining are studying the possibility of merging into a town-village.

“That statement threw me for a loop last night because they’ve been claiming that’s not happening,” Sullivan said.

Two consultants who responded to an RFP to study the Ossining town-village issue will be interviewed by town and village officials at a meeting in Ossining village hall on June 14th at 6 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.

How do you feel about the annexation issue, or about merging the town and village of Ossining into a town-village? Leave your comment below or join the TheDailyOssining.com’s discussion on Facebook .

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