Press-Republican

Local News

February 9, 2013

Dissolution process detailed

CHAMPLAIN — A crowd of Village of Champlain residents expressed confusion and even apprehension about the dissolution process at a special meeting.

One asked if any village employees would lose their jobs should the entity dissolve.

Another wanted to know what property-tax rates would be if the village were to be absorbed by the Town of Champlain.

If the majority chooses dissolution at a March 19 vote, a study will be launched and a plan devised. Some at the recent session, held at the Town of Champlain Office Complex to allow more room for people wanting to learn more about the process, already knew that a petition signed by qualified villagers could force another vote once the plan is complete.

But how long would residents have to get that petition filled and filed, one person queried?

Forty-five days is allowed, Sean M. Maguire, Northern New York regional representative for the New York State Department of State said. “It’s a very short time frame.”

That response was quick and easy, but the answers to so many other questions — including tax rates and the fate of employees — couldn’t yet be answered with certainty or with much detail.

The village just recently was pushed to put dissolution up for vote and isn’t obligated to make a dissolution plan — yet.

‘TRANSPARENT PROCESS’

A “yes” vote on March 19 would start the process of preparation for a possible dissolution, Maguire told the roomful of concerned residents and Village Board members. 

If residents vote not to dissolve, another petition would not be valid for four years, Maguire said.

Should residents OK the move, though, the Village Board would be required to gather facts detailing how village services would function once its government dissolved.

The village sits within the Town of Champlain, so the latter government would serve its residents in all capacities should dissolution happen. And the town would take over such infrastructure such as the village’s public water and sewer systems. 

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