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March 4, 2013

Champlain residents torn on dissolution question

(Continued)

“I think village government is a layer of government that is most responsive,” Martin countered.

Village residents have benefited from services taken over by the town, said Martin.

“If you’re going to talk about the loss of a fire department, it became a town service (as a the town-wide Champlain Fire District). It became better financed,” Martin said. “It’s not a town service; it’s a community service.”

While the Police Department was eliminated several years ago, the mayor said, the village receives “exemplary service” from U.S. Border Patrol, State Police and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department.

“We get the same services, but it’s less expensive to the village,” he said.

TAXES

Southwick said he feels the amount he pays in taxes is equivalent to the services he receives from the village.

“I think they do a good job,” he said. “I’ve always been pleased with the village crew.”

He referenced a recent water-main break.

“They were right on top of it.”

Catherine Gooley, 66, said the Public Works Department does a good job of clearing the snow off the sidewalks, allowing village residents who don’t have cars to walk to work or the grocery store.

“I don’t think I pay an awful lot of money for these services,” she said.

“I hope people won’t just vote (yes) because they think they will save a lot of money in taxes, because there’s no guarantee,” she said.

Gladd thinks just the opposite: “We’re taxed extremely high.”

If dissolution could save taxpayers money, it might be the best option, Southwick said.

“I’m a big believer in combined services if it can be done,” he said. “I suppose the bottom line would be savings.”

AGING POPULATION

The aging population of the village is a problem for its future, Gladd said.

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