Village should take the deal
July 21, 2010 - Enough is enough.
Let's stop wasting tax money.
Let's stop wasting time.
The Oxford Village Council should definitely accept the township's final settlement offer concerning the fire department lawsuit. See Page 1.
I truly believe it's a good deal for both sides.
I truly believe it's the best compromise we're going to see.
First and foremost, as a village resident, I don't want to end up paying annual usage charges for fire services on top of the 2.5 mills I already pay for them.
Accepting this settlement proposal would prevent that from happening.
We're all township residents and we should all continue paying the same millage rate, which we all approved at the polls.
For the village government, the positives of accepting this offer are clear.
Council gets the old fire hall, the old township hall and all the parking that goes with it. The village would finally have complete control of the entire municipal complex, something council's been striving for.
The parking lot is already heavily used by downtown businesses and is particularly vital to the southwest quadrant.
When the economy gets better, the village could use the old township hall or fire station to do something beneficial for the community like open a youth center.
Or maybe the village could sell or lease some property to a private enterprise.
There's a "vision plan" floating around out there that shows the entire complex being turned into townhouses someday.
The township's offer also gives the village a five-year contract for fire/EMS dispatch services. Village officials keep telling us how important it is to keep dispatch local, well, here's your chance to seal the deal.
On top of all that, the settlement gives the cash-strapped village a $50,000-infusion from the township's general fund.
To me, it would be absolutely insane for the village to turn down this offer.
I look at it this way. Let's say council rejects it and pushes the township for a lump sum payment of $643,241, which represents the village's equity in the fire department.
It sounds good, but then the township would be allowed to start assessing the village an annual usage charge in perpetuity.
The first 10 years alone could amount to approximately $1 million or more.
Does that sound like a good deal to you?
It doesn't to me. The village should take the township's offer and move on before we spend another $500,000 on an endless stream of attorney bills, motions and appeals.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.