CHAUMONT, N.Y. (WWNY) - It’s a single question: should the village of Chaumont dissolve. The choice might not be so simple.
Martin Jones has lived in his Chaumont house for more than 60 years. He says he has always felt safe in the village.
“It’s been a good place to raise six kids,” he said.
But will it remain a village? That’s the question Chaumont residents will have to answer on Election Day and Jones has already made his opinion clear with a yard sign that reads “Vote No on Chaumont Dissolution.”
Chaumont Mayor Valerie Rust says she felt for village residents after seeing the sign.
“These people have been village residents and this village has been their village for many, many years,” she said.
Rust says if the village were to dissolve into the town of Lyme, Chaumont residents would see a tax rate decrease of a little more than $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Town of Lyme residents would see a 7 cent per $1,000 increase.
But Jones says he would rather save the village than save a little on taxes.
“No, no, no. I’ll spend that $100 dollars,” he said.
Rust says the tax rate savings are an added bonus of the dissolution plan.
“We did not pursue the dissolution study on the sole purpose to decrease taxes. It was predominantly not to increase them,” said Rust.
Financials aside, Jones says he feels the community could change if Chaumont is no longer a village.
“You just get the feeling that if we don’t have a village, it’s not going to be the same,” he said.
To Rust, it’s the people that make the community.
“A village is defined by its residents. It’s not defined by its government,” she said.
On Election Day, both village of Chaumont and town of Lyme residents will cast their general election ballot votes in the courtroom of the town office building.
Village residents will then be given a second ballot and go to a different room to vote on dissolution.