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Residents, officials discuss part of Oneida seeking to join village of Wampsville

Carly Stone
Staff writer
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Posted 12/22/22

A public hearing was held to solicit comments on a petition received from the village of Wampsville requesting to annex the end of Daniels Drive in Oneida.

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Residents, officials discuss part of Oneida seeking to join village of Wampsville


ONEIDA — A public hearing was held Monday, Dec. 19, in the Oneida Common Council Chambers to solicit comments on a petition received from the village of Wampsville requesting to annex the end of Daniels Drive in Oneida.

The section of Daniels Drive in question contains nine properties with eight buildings. A majority of property owners, six out of nine, signed the petition stating their agreement to leave the city of Oneida and instead be a part of the village of Wampsville and town of Lenox. One property owner could not provide a valid signature because their property is in probate, but they voiced their agreement with the petition, explained Wampsville Mayor Jerry Seymour.

Primary reasons in favor of annexation include:

• Being able to have free trash pickup, which is provided for free to the village of Wampsville taxpayers.

• Paying fewer taxes overall.

Lori Seymour, Jerry’s wife who helped collect the signatures, told the Sentinel that, on average, those who pay for trash pickup pay between $37 and $38 a month, or around $450 a year. It is not known if all residents in this section pay for their own trash pickup or utilize county transfer stations instead.

The taxes paid by each property owner if they left the city of Oneida varies, but generally speaking, would amount to a savings of around $350-$400 a year per property, according to calculations provided by Lori Seymour.

Being a part of the community that they live in was another reason voiced by a property owner in favor of leaving Oneida. Their property lies in both Oneida and Wampsville, meaning they pay taxes on both sides. Simplifying their taxes would be an added benefit, the homeowner explained.

An empty parcel is included in the annexation petition and is owned by Jerry Seymour. The taxes on his property would actually go up $4.73, according to Lori Seymour’s calculation.

Jerry Seymour said that he’s not personally getting anything out of it and, as mayor, moved forward with the annexation request because that’s what the majority of residents in that area wanted.

Ed and Shawn Chase live at 228 Daniels Drive and are against being cut off from the city of Oneida.

“This whole thing does absolutely nothing good for us,” Ed Chase remarked. “We do not want to separate from the city of Oneida.” If they became Wampsville residents, they would lose their paid fire department and police force provided by the city, and they would have to pay for trash anyway because they have too many recyclables, he said.

A volunteer fire department provides service to the village of Wampsville.

“What they do is phenomenal,” Ed Chase said of the volunteer services. “But there’s no guarantee that there’s always going to be a volunteer there to take care of our needs.”

Oneida City Supervisor Joe Magliocca said, “The response time for fire or EMS or police is greater in the city of Oneida than it is in the other municipalities.”

Some questioned the benefit of the paid safety departments, stating that often whatever help is closest will make their way to the scene. Daniels Drive is also right next to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and Wampsville Volunteer Fire Department.

“We don’t want to save $500 or $600, we want our services that we bought our house for,” Shawn Chase said.

The city would take a tax hit just greater than $10,000 per year if it lost these properties. As of 2022, total taxes collected by the city for these properties equaled $10,051.13, according to officials. Next year with taxes increasing, this figure would increase by about $100, according to Oneida Mayor Helen Acker.

Acker commented, “My job as mayor, I’m always concerned about the health and safety of every individual and every business owner that is here. Next is money.”

She continued, “It doesn’t sound like a lot of money, but it is a lot of money. Our budget this year is extremely tight. ... To lose $10,000 and change, forever, that’s a big number in our pocket that we would be losing.”

The three parties that would have to vote on the annexation would include the city of Oneida, village of Wampsville, and town of Lenox.

The town of Lenox includes two villages: Canastota and Wampsville. The town helps support the villages in the ways that it can, explained town of Lenox Supervisor John Pinard.

Including these parcels into the town of Lenox would not affect Lenox’s distribution of services, and the tax benefit to the town would be miniscule, Pinard explained. Currently, the town of Lenox provides brush pickup for residents of Wampsville as well as those on Daniels Drive who live in Oneida. If the brush is out, they just pick it up, he said. Oneida also picks up brush for this section, Acker said.

In addition, the town of Lenox will be plowing the roads for the village of Wampsville beginning next year. This section of Daniels Drive would be included in that, he said. Currently, Wampsville contracts with the town of Lincoln for plowing this area, including the back end of Daniels Drive. The drivers aren’t going to pick up the plow blade and put it back down just to cut out this small section, the Wampsville mayor explained.

The municipalities will have 90 days from the day of the public hearing to make their decision. If one out of the three does not agree, then either of the other two may decide to escalate the matter to court, explained an attorney at the hearing.

“We’re not going to fight with anybody over that,” Jerry said. “I don’t think any of it is worth that.”

Acker said she anticipates the matter will be on the agenda for a Oneida City Council meeting on January 17.

Those interested in following the situation should check each municipality’s meeting agendas to see when they will take their respective votes.

“Whether it goes or not, it will not really affect the village of Wampsville. We’re a wonderful village. We will still send our newsletter to them (the people who live outside the district), we will still plow their roads, and we will still pick up their brush. We were just respecting what people asked of us,” Lori Seymour said.


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