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Keeseville steps closer to dissolution

From front left, Keeseville Village Trustee Kathleen Klages, trustee John Casey, attorney John Clute, Mayor Dale Holderman, New York State Department of State representative Sean Maguire, Trustee Mary King and Trustee Robin Bezio.

From front left, Keeseville Village Trustee Kathleen Klages, trustee John Casey, attorney John Clute, Mayor Dale Holderman, New York State Department of State representative Sean Maguire, Trustee Mary King and Trustee Robin Bezio. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— The Keeseville Village Board of Trustees decided to stick to the plan.

The board voted to accept the dissolution plan presented by the Keeseville Dissolution Committee during its July 9 monthly board meeting, putting in place the process of eliminating the municipal government located in the towns of Chesterfield and Ausable Dec. 31, 2014.

The vote by the village trustees also set in motion a 45-day petitioning period, where village residents who are registered voters would be able to submit a petition triggering a permissive referendum that would again bring the issue to a vote.

In order to successfully force another vote, the document would require signatures from 25-percent of the registered voters. Currently, there are 955 registered voters in the village.

If a petition were presented and accepted by the village, a vote on the dissolution plan would be held. If passed, the dissolution process would continue and the village would cease to exist as an incorporated entity on Dec. 31, 2014. If defeated, the process is halted barring another dissolution petition.

Residents of the town of Chesterfield and Ausable who live outside of the village boundaries would not be allowed to vote on the referendum. They were also not allowed to vote in the original dissolution referendum, which passed 268-176 on Jan. 22, after a petition that had to be signed by at least 10-percent of registered voters was presented to the board of trustees.

The Keeseville Dissolution Committee met throughout 2012, working on a dissolution study before drafting a dissolution plan which was presented to the village board. The committee held four public hearings throughout the year, with each bringing more people into the discussion.

Members of the dissolution committee included Keeseville Mayors Meegan Rock and Dale Holderman (who defeated Rock in the March 2012 election), Chesterfield Supervisor Gerald Morrow, Ausable Supervisor Sandy Senecal, Keeseville Trustee Mary King, and residents Leon “Butch” Clodgo, Bill Agoney, Maurice Bresette, Julie Lattrell and Linda Guimond.

Tim Weidemann of Rondout Consulting and Peter Fairweather of Fairweather Consulting were hired to provide their services to the committee. The work done by the group was funded through a state grant.

Copies of the Keeseville Dissolution Plan are currently available at he village offices on Liberty Street during normal business hours or by visiting the website keeseville.ning.com.

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