Press-Republican

Local News

December 9, 2012

Village dissolution raised again in Champlain

(Continued)

The village sits within the Town of Champlain, and dissolution would mean government and services would be taken over by the town. That process could take 18 months or more as the village would first have to meet its debt obligations, Martin said.

He said the village has been able to keep its water and sewer rates steady for the last five years. He questioned whether the town would be able to continue that.

The village also has done well with road maintenance and has instituted a village festival and family movie nights, Martin said.

A fundraising effort has been launched to buy equipment to establish a playground downtown, as well.

Martin said the village is in good shape, as indicated in a recent "at risk" audit by the State Comptroller's Office. The village didn't require a follow-up audit, which was not the case in some neighboring municipalities, Martin said.

90 WINDOW BEFORE VOTE

Once the petition is submitted, the village clerk has 10 days to ensure the signatures are accurate. The mayor said it would take 20 percent of registered voters to force a referendum if the total signed up is less than 500.

If enough signatures are valid, the village must schedule a vote on dissolution in between 60 and 90 days. That timetable would allow the vote to take place on the same day as village elections in March 2013, Martin said.

If the vote is in favor of dissolution, the village would have to develop a plan for that. The mayor said the state usually foots the bill for the study and plan. 

The study would include a look at all village services, departments, assets and liabilities, and policies. Once a plan is in place, the village would need to hold a series of public hearings.

The final plan would then be up for another referendum. Only villagers would vote, not town residents.

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