Dissolve The Village Of Chaumont? That's Up To Voters Now
It was the last chance for the public to voice its opinion on whether the 138 year old village of Chaumont will become a thing of the past.
Only one member of the public showed up - the son of one of the trustees.
But it will be the public who ultimately decides through a referendum in November and the mayor is worried about it.
"Out of the 300-plus registered voters that we have, I would estimate probably 80 percent would be out to vote and they're going to see this on the ballot - we'll say half of that maybe will be informed," Mayor Valerie Rust said.
It all started when the village board decided to explore the possibility of dissolution to see if merging the resources of the village of Chaumont and the town of Lyme would save money.
A report found that if the village dissolved, a taxpayer in the village with property assessed at $50,000 would save $252 dollars a year.
Taxes for individuals currently living outside the village would increase slightly.
The town would save $28,000 annually with the help of an annual $31,000 state tax credit.
None of the members of the board say they are in favor of dissolving the village, but say it should be up to the public to decide.
"It really should be the village taxpayers' decision at this point," Rust said.
"If they feel that it's more beneficial, that it's going to save them money, then it should be their decision. Not a board of five people."
If voters approve the dissolution, Chaumont will no longer be a village, but a hamlet.
Thursday, May 23, 2013, Watertown, NY
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