Painted Post: Throwing Water On Dissolution
As we reported, The study surrounding a petition used to get signatures to support dissolving Painted Post into Erwin ran into trouble using out dated information.
However, the push to bring the decision to a vote is still on, because there are two distinct sides of that debate who see this latest issue in very different ways.
The latest sticking point: water. Painted post sells water to gas drilling companies and makes and uses the profits to improve things like roads and services in the village.
If the Painted Post dissolves into the town of Erwin, they will only be able to use the money on water facilities.
Right now that money helps pay for thinkgs like improvements to roads and new fire trucks.
Village Trustee, Rick Thorne says the study which petiitioners in favor of dissolutionbased their finding's on, doesn't take water sales into account.
Thorne says, "If we were to merge with Erwyn, the water money, the way we understand it, can only be used on the water system in a town form of government. We have a legal opinion that says the money can be used in any way we see fit."
Petitioners says expenses to improve the infrastructure would be there regardless.
Phyllis Draper, Co-Chair of PaintedPostTaxRelief.org says, "We may see immediate cost savings from the water payments, but in the long run we've still got $3-4 million of improvements to be done which was in the CRG study. That, regardless, we're gonna have those expenses; that's not going to cause a permanent reduction in taxes.
The CRG study originally said residents would save 44% on their taxes if Painted Post were to dissolve.
But trustees did their own study which found savings of only about 8%.
Many Residents are mostly concerned with what is going to keep money in their pockets and still side with dissolving.
Painted Post resident, Celeste Shearer says, "I've been leaning towards it. From what I've heard, just because the expense of maintaining the village is so high, Our incomes have not risen. My husband and I are both disabled and we can't increase our income."