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Port Henry mulls dissolution of village

PORT HENRY - Residents of the village of Port Henry and the town of Moriah are invited to a public information meeting on Thursday, Sept. 17, to learn more about a study investigating dissolving the village.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus building located at 4253 Main St., Port Henry.

A dissolution study has recently been initiated with funding provided through a state grant. The study is designed to:

- inform residents about the advantages and disadvantages of dissolving the village;

- provide a decision-making tool for village residents to determine whether or not to dissolve the village government;

- provide a dissolution plan that village voters can vote on in March, 2010; and

- identify other options, including enhanced service sharing with the town, that can be considered in the event voters reject dissolving the village.

Representatives from the Rochester-based Center for Governmental Research, which has been engaged to analyze village and town operations and identify ways to make them more effective and efficient, will describe the purpose and scope of the study and answer questions.

Members of the committee overseeing the project will also attend and answer questions. The eight-member committee includes representatives from both the village and the town.

The committee includes Port Henry Mayor Ernest Guerin, Trustee James Hughes, Walt Wojewodzic and Joseph Celotti ; Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava, Councilman Richard Carpenter, Charlie Bryant and John Boyea.

"There are two very important reasons for having this public meeting," said Vicki Brown, CGR associate director. "We want residents and taxpayers to tell us and the study committee which services and functions they need and expect, and give us their ideas about the best ways to provide them."

Brown noted that CGR, which expects to complete the study by year-end 2009, has 94 years experience conducting management studies for governments of all sizes across New York State, including significant experience with dissolution / consolidation / shared services studies.

"We are not starting the study with any preconceived ideas," she added. "We value the public's input as we work with the village and town to identify and evaluate cooperation and consolidation alternatives."

"This study is long over due" said Port Henry Mayor, Ernest Guerin. "We are strongly encouraging the public to attend this informational meeting as it will give residents and taxpayers the opportunity to ask questions and get answers."

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