Two things have been made clear over the past nine months: Dissolution is in the best interest of the village of Keeseville; but the board of trustees, especially Mayor Dale Holderman, will do everything to stand in its way.
The Keeseville Dissolution Committee has been meeting since January, assigned by the village board to look at the possibility of the dissolution of the village along with other options that could save taxpayers money.
The Valley News has been present at all but one of these meetings, watching the process unfold and the reactions of town and village leaders. No one else can say that. Only once has there been a reporter from another news agency present, and that person is currently employed by us.
Through those meetings, it has become clear that village government is not needed in Keeseville and thus needs to be dissolved.
First, the towns of Ausable and Chesterfield already provide many key services for the residents of the village. Towns are responsible to provide services to all their residents, outside or inside the village. Also, village court and other services have already been taken over by the towns. Eliminating the village eliminates the redundancy that currently exists.
When it comes to water and sewer, the two towns have already stated their commitment to continue to serve the residents. Members from each town council have also brought up the possibility of expansion, lowering rates for all system users.
Holderman, who was elected to the position after the dissolution committee had started to meet, sent out a letter to residents of the village voicing his opposition. “Village residents lose so many of the things that citizens have worked for over 100 years to accomplish. There are no legal means to hold either of the Towns to their agreements. There is no guarantee that any Village Resident will receive any services at all.”
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