Lisbon Town Supervisor Dan Heier says he thinks voters will strike down the idea to combine the Village of Sussex and Lisbon during the August 14 referendum, according to the Sussex Sun.
The group of officials discussed the merger during Monday night’s Town Board Meeting in Lisbon, and even Town Chairman Matt Gehrke agreed that there would have to be an overwhelming backing from voters for the Town Board to continue backing the idea.
"There is going to have to be a strong indication of support for the board to proceed, Ryan and I might have a slight difference in how you define strong," said Gehrke.
Ryan Lippert, a town supervisor, mentioned he wouldn’t support the consolidation with Sussex even if Lisbon residents support it by a small margin votes.
This comes after more than 100 Lisbon citizens on June 27 to voice their concerns about the consolidation with Sussex, specifically regarding taxes.
Gehrke noted the current the property tax rate in Lisbon is $3.09 per $1,000 of assessed value. It would increase to about $3.50 per $1,000 if assessed value if the town consolidated with Sussex, but that would be phased in over 10 years.
"When you look at (consolidation) with Sussex, the tax base goes up, their taxes go down; my taxes go up. It doesn't compute," said town resident Dennis Manthy in June. "I've lived here for 35 years and the Town of Lisbon is the Town of Lisbon."
The next public forum is scheduled for July 31 at 6:30 p.m. the Hamilton Fine Arts Center.
However, in that’s been collecting votes since the idea of a consolidation was first introduced, it seems more Sussex Patch readers are in favor of the merger. More than 440 readers voted, and 60 percent say they like the idea of “The City of Sussex-Lisbon.”
Even still, Heir doesn’t think voters will give it the green light.
"I don't think voters in the town will approve it," said Supervisor Heier.
Lisbon residents will vote on Aug. 14, and in order for the merger to be approved, it must be backed by a majority of both the Lisbon Town Board and Sussex Village Board, then approved by both communities in a binding referendum.
The next public forum is scheduled for July 31 at 6:30 p.m. the .