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Salina voters say 'no' to new town hall

First Ward Councilor Colleen Gunnip and her mother stump for the cause on Election Day in the village of Liverpool. Gunnip beat out challenger Linda Young for the seat.

First Ward Councilor Colleen Gunnip and her mother stump for the cause on Election Day in the village of Liverpool. Gunnip beat out challenger Linda Young for the seat. Mark Nicotra

— In a close vote, Salina residents voted down a proposition that would have allowed the town to purchase the Burdick Chevrolet property on Old Liverpool Road and consolidate the town hall and highway facilities at the location. Taxpayers rejected the measure by a vote of 2,698 to 2,532.

“We’re disappointed that it didn’t go through,” said Supervisor Mark Nicotra. “We thought this was the best long-term decision, but obviously the people make the ultimate decision, and they didn’t feel that way. We’ll have go back to the drawing board and figure something out.”

The cost of renovating the existing town hall would be approximately $1.68 million, Nicotra said. Meanwhile, repairs to the garage would cost about $6.2 million. The town wanted to purchase the 90,000-square-foot Burdick Chevrolet building on Old Liverpool Road, which Burdick will vacate by the end of 2011 when it moves all of its vehicles to Drivers Village in Cicero. Burdick bought the property from Bresee Chevrolet in the spring of this year for $1.6 million. The town would need to make significant renovations to the property in order to make it suitable for the town’s needs, making the total cost for the town of Salina approximately $5.93 million. If approved, the estimated tax increase would have been roughly $15 to $20 on a $100,000 home.

Meanwhile, Nicotra will retain his seat as supervisor; the Republican incumbent got 3,572 votes while Democratic challenger Patrick Foster received 1,775.

Nicotra said he hoped to continue on the path he’d been on since taking office in 2007.

“I’d like to continue to keep the tax base level as we have the last few years, keep Salina an affordable place to live,” he said. “I want to continue to improve infrastructure in the town has we have been doing over the last couple of years. Most of all, we’ve got to keep going forward and to improve the quality of life for our residents.”

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