Village government dodges dissolution bullet ... for now

With the Office of the State Comptroller prompting municipalities to adopts ways to increase efficiency and lower operating costs, the push to dissolve villages has sparked controversy across the state. In Lake George, non-village residents are concerned about the increased tax burden that a village/town consolidation would place squarely on their shoulders.

Village consultant Fairweather Consulting has predicted that dissolution will prompt a tax increase from nine to 40 percent among non-village town residents.

According to Beltramo, if the village was annexed by the town and a co-terminus municipality was established, these shortfalls would be dramatically reduced.

In a co-terminus municipality, a single board would act as the town board and the village board of trustees. Further, a single individual would hold the seat of supervisor and mayor.

Also, village debts and assets, the disposition of which has raised considerable controversy, would remain with those who live within the boundaries of the village.

"We are simply trying to find ways to save everyone money," Village Mayor Bob Blais said. "We certainly don't want to dissolve at the expense of our neighbors - There is definitely a lot of work to be accomplished on this issue."

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