Voters in Irondequoit may have to return to the polls if a group of residents is successful with a lawsuit. They claim the April vote for a new centralized library is null and void because the town violated state environmental law. Town leaders believed they followed proper procedures in conducting the environmental study.
In April, Irondequoit residents voted in favor of a new centralized library proposed for the Town Hall Campus on Titus Avenue. It would replace two smaller outdated libraries; one on the west side of town on Cooper Road, the other on the east side on Ridge Road.
Some residents have filed a lawsuit against the town that may force a re-vote. Richard Barone, a former member of the Irondequoit Town Board and planning board, says the town failed to conduct a legal environmental study.
"There was nothing done in February at all. You had a town employee go through a couple of things but you can't have a town employee do that, the town board has to do that and the town board has to vote on the environmental issues. It can't be an employee writing a form," Barone said.
Town leaders say they followed proper procedures in conducting the environmental review before residents voted on and overwhelmingly approved the library proposition.
Town Supervisor Mary Joyce D'Aurizio says Irondequoit has commissioned a second environmental review and is in the process of filing that report with the Department of Environmental Conservation.
"It fully supported all of the other work that we had done, had on the town website, discussed with the residents during the 21 public informational meetings," said D'Aurizio, R-Irondequoit.
Barone says the town cannot move forward with funding or construction of the new library until it has a valid bond.
"As of now, because they have rescinded whatever they did in February, which really wasn't anything, they don't have the foundation for the bond and then the construction and so forth. They can't spend a dime," Barone said.
The town board is expected to vote on that bonding at its next meet September 17 and the town supervisor is confident construction will go ahead as planned.
"It's not a political issue, it's just one of those things that residents of all ages support for whatever their needs are and that's why we're moving forward," said D'Aurizio.
D'Aurizio says the board will also take up the issue on conducting another vote.