Tonight, the districts will come together to discuss how to put together a request for a grant to study the feasibility of consolidation. Each district is expected to pony up $2,500 for the request. The grant itself could cost $100,000, according to Cheektowaga-Sloan board member Denise McCowan.
"The Cheektowaga Town Board asked us to have a study done even though one was done by UB in 2008," says McCowan. At issue, she notes, is the inequity in property taxes paid by residents within each of the four districts. "At Cheektowaga-Sloan and Cleveland-Hill, we are paying a lot higher per thousand compared to Cheektowaga Central and Maryvale because they have a lot of businesses that generate a lot of revenue that keep their taxes low," explains McCowan.
She says the purpose of the study is to determine whether a consolidation would effectively shift the load between those four districts. "What would happen is Cheektowaga Central and Maryvale's taxes would go up, ours would go down but it would not be a level playing field because of assessments," says McCowan.
The meeting is tonight at 6:30 at Cleve-Hill High School