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March 16, 2013

Champlain dissolution debated further

CHAMPLAIN — Village of Champlain’s mayor is confident residents will vote down the dissolution proposal on Tuesday.

About 50 people attended a special dissolution meeting held recently at the Knights of Columbus hall in Champlain.

“I think the village will remain a village,” Mayor Greg Martin said after the meeting. “I’m very, very, very confident … I knock on a lot of doors and talk to people. They would like to see the village survive, and I think we will.”

But village resident Kevin Triller, a longtime supporter of dissolution who circulated the petition that prompted Tuesday’s vote, has a different perspective.

“I think it’s so close it’s going to be hard to call,” he said.

He hasn’t encountered anyone who initially signed the petition and is now against dissolution, he said, and some residents have switched and will be voting “yes” to ending village government.

The interest generated on the topic will likely make this vote the best attended in recent village history, Triller added.

’GOOD SHAPE’

Before Wade Beltramo, general counsel for the New York State Conference of Mayors (NYCOM), gave his presentation at the recent meeting, Martin addressed the crowd.

“The village is in very good financial shape,” the mayor said. “Things are going well here.”

Beltramo said that although the village pays a $778 yearly membership fee to NYCOM, the organization maintains a neutral position on dissolution.

Town Councilman Dennis Roberts attended the meeting at the request of village employees, Martin said.

CONFUSION

Some village residents said they are confused about what they are voting for Tuesday.

The vote is to dissolve the village, not to simply conduct a review, although the municipality will be obligated to do a study if residents vote “yes.”

If villagers vote not to dissolve, the dissolution process cannot be re-initiated for four years.

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