KEESEVILLE — A vote on the Village of Keeseville’s plan for dissolution is headed to public referendum.
If voters reject the document, the scheduled dissolution of the village will be stopped.
A petition for a referendum on the blueprint for dissolution was filed with the Village of Keeseville recently and certified as valid.
Submitted by resident Sandra Clodgo, it had 309 signatures, with 256 ruled valid by Village Clerk Lynn Hathaway.
Hathaway said 236 signatures were needed, based on a requirement of 25 percent of the village’s 944 registered voters.
“I received it on the 31st (of July) and certified it on Aug 6,” Hathaway said. “ I only had 10 days to certify it (by law).”
The Keeseville Village Board is expected to soon set a date for a vote, probably for late October. The vote must be held 60 to 90 days from the date the petition was accredited.
NO CHANGES TO PLAN
Keeseville voters decided 268 to 176 in January that the village should dissolve as a municipal unit.
It has been slated to be wiped out of existence on Dec. 31, 2014, but if the upcoming public vote rejects the plan, the village will remain in place.
On July 9, the Village Board voted unanimously to approve the plan for dissolution, leaving a 45-day window to petition for a vote on the document.
The board had passed the plan created by the Joint Village Dissolution Study Committee without making any changes.
The plan specifies how Keeseville’s dissolution would be handled and its property and services turned over to the towns of Chesterfield in Essex County and AuSable in Clinton County; the village sits in both those towns.
‘A GOOD SMIDGEN’
Study Committee member and dissolution advocate Linda Liberty-Guimond said some of those who signed the petition on the plan changed their minds or misunderstood and later asked that their names be removed.
“I have no problem with the people wanting to do a petition. That’s (256 valid names) a good smidgen of encompassing people that you have to have.”
She said she plans to monitor the process as it proceeds.
“Even though people have signed the petition, they have a right to vote the way they want (in the referendum). The study showed people in the village would definitely save on their property taxes if their village should dissolve.”
She said the State Department of State requires specific wording for the vote: “Do you agree with the dissolution plan, yes or no?”
Clodgo didn’t return calls Tuesday seeking comment on her petition effort.
The Village of Keeseville has about 1,800 residents.
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