After 15 years of talk, it was time to vote Tuesday. Should the village of Keeseville dissolve?
"I'm voting today to dissolve," said Lola Lopez of Keeseville.
About 1,800 people live in the village that sits in two towns and two counties. It is divided by the Ausable River. On the north side is the town of Ausable in Clinton County. On the south side is Chesterfield in Essex County. Each town would absorb the village responsibilities, such as government, highway, water and sewer.
"Most of what has come out as far as taxes being reduced in the village won't be substantial as to the services we will be losing out on," said James Finnegan of Keeseville.
According to a study by a consultant, water and sewer rates would go up if the community dissolved. However, it could not predict how much. At the same time, taxes would decrease by about $400 for someone who owns a home valued at more than $100,000. However, two-thirds of the homes in Keeseville are assessed at under $100,000. And some of those people may see their taxes increase if the dissolution plan is approved.
"I don't think it is worth it to dissolve a village for something that is not going to benefit the majority of the people in the village," said Mary Jaquish of Keeseville.
"The taxes we pay do not result in any kind of service or performance, so why should it continue," Lopez said.
The town supervisor in Chesterfield, Gerald Morrow, is confident his community could absorb the additional services at a cheaper price for current Keeseville residents and with the same efficiency. And it would not have a negative result on the town.
"We've absorbed their accessing unit, their dog control officer, their court system, we do that now. We also do building and zoning codes right now as we speak," Morrow said.
If voters say yes to dissolving the village of Keeseville, the board of trustees would need to come up with a dissolution plan that would require voter approval. If that plan is also approved, the village of Keeseville would officially dissolve at the end of next year.
If the village is dissolved, six positions would be cut.