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Mayor: Village dissolution study to focus on retaining services

LAKE GEORGE Both town and Village officials are spending hours jointly evaluating the feasibility of abolishing the village government, and their study includes determining fair and cost efficient ways to distribute the villages assets and debts, while continuing to provide vital services to local citizens, Mayor Robert Blais said this week in a prepared statement. Over the next several months, the Village of Lake George Dissolution Study Committee will be examining the process involved in dissolving the village government and turning its services over to the town of Lake George, he said. Earlier this year, the village board resolved to consider dissolving the village and appointed the study committee. In June, the committee hired Fairweather Consulting of New Paltz and Elan Planning & Design of Saratoga Springs to conduct the analyses required. The committee is chaired by Village Trustee John Root and consists of 11 representatives from both the village and town. Legally, village dissolution is a unilateral act by village government, Root said. But our intent is to go through this study in close cooperation with the town. The idea is to find a solution that works well for taxpayers and residents in both the village and the town. The study is slated to be completed by the end of 2008, with the dissolution resolution scheduled to go before village voters at the next regular election in March 2009. Peter Fairweather of Fairweather Consulting explained the process. Should the voters support the dissolution resolution at the polls in March, the dissolution plan would go into effect and the government of the village of Lake George would cease to exist as of Dec. 31, 2010, he said. The Study Committee is seeking extensive public input in this process, Root said. We will be conducting public information sessions and even taking a survey of residents to get their input, said he said. All of our analyses and findings are going to be posted on a website that will have the full schedule of committee meetings and have opportunities for residents to e-mail in comments and monitor our progress. The committees Web site is already operating and can be found at www.fairweatherconsulting.com/LakeGeorge. The next Dissolution Study Committee meeting will be held Thursday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. in the village hall.

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