Days may be numbered for Keeseville Civic Center

One of the main issues, said Rock, is the village's expense for heating the Civic Center. Between $15,000 and $17,000 is spent annually to fuel the building's wood furnace. That cost could rise if inmate labor used to cut the wood is not available next winter.

Removal of those expenses is the main contributor to a budget that reduces the tax levy by 9.51 percent, resulting in a decrease in the tax rate from $8.16 to $7.50 per thousand.

Rock sees a much different picture if the building were to remain open.

"Instead of decreasing taxes one percent, you would probably be raising them three or four percent," she said.

If the Civic Center were to close, village offices would relocate across the street to the former youth building, which Rock said has gone underutilized despite having been renovated last year.

Rock estimates it would cost the village only $3,000 per year to heat and maintain the smaller building. A $10,000 line item is included in the tentative budget that would fund those operations, as well as up-front costs of moving and installing needed equipment there.

Eviction notice

Few deny the financial benefits of closing the Keeseville Civic Center, but some argue they may not outweigh the costs. Closing the Civic Center would not only mean the loss of the State Police station there, but also the home of the building's other major tenants.

Ron Allen is president of the Anderson Falls Heritage Society, a nonprofit that has operated at the Civic Center for nearly 25 years. He learned of the plan to close the building just last week when the tentative budget was first released.

"Granted, it needs some work, but to close something of this importance without putting it to a public vote is unheard of," said Allen.

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