Port Henry survives dissolution vote

PORT HENRY - The village of Port Henry lives on.

Voters rejected a dissolution measure March 16 that would have vanquished the municipality by a 186-146 margin.

By law, the issue, which has been debated for decades, cannot be brought back for another vote for two years.

Voters also elected two members to the village board. Ruth McDonough received 235 votes and John Viestenz 236 to claim seats. They ran unopposed.

A report prepared by a joint village-town study committee predicted taxes would decrease 33 to 24 percent if the village dissolved, depending on whether the town received state dissolution aid of $303,600 a year.

The plan would have created special taxing districts to replace village services, including a Port Henry Fire District and districts for trash and recyclables collection, sidewalk maintenance and snow removal, water and sewage.

The village clerk, two water and sewer employees and the five-person Village Department of Public Works would have transferred to town employment, but elected officers and the village-treasurer and codes-enforcement-officer jobs would have been eliminated.

The village received a $50,000 state grant to study dissolution, hiring the Rochester-based Center for Governmental Research to help prepare the dissolution feasibility study and guide the village through the process.

Several public hearings were held to keep residents informed and answer questions.

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