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.
One more vote will determine if the village of Keeseville will cease to be an incorporated entity after Dec. 31 of next year.
Village Clerk Lynn Hathaway announced during the Aug. 13 meeting of the Keeseville Board of Trustees that she had certified a petition asking for a public referendum on the recently approved dissolution plan.
With a certified petition, Mayor Dale Holderman said the vote on whether to accept the dissolution plan will take place Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the village offices from noon to 9 p.m.
Holderman said the election had to be held no earlier than 60 days after the petition was signed and no later than 90 days.
He added that they had thought about holding the referendum on the same day as the Nov. 5 General Election but felt that could potentially cause confusion.
“Residents would have to go to the firehouse to vote in the General Election and then come over to the village hall to vote on the referendum issue,” Holderman said. “That would make two stops which could lead to confusion. We wanted to make this simple for voters.”
The village will hold no more meetings to specifically address the dissolution plan between now and the election but will host a voter registration day one week before the vote to ensure that all who want to be heard on the matter can be.
“This process is entirely in the hands of the voters now,” Holderman said. “We are hoping that it will be a large turnout so hopefully the full voice of the village can be heard.”
The petition, submitted to the village July 31 by resident Sandra Clodgo, had 309 signatures from registered voters of the village, of which 256 were ruled valid.
In order to be a petition that could be acted upon, there needed to be 236 valid signatures, which would represent 25 percent of the registered voters in the community.
Earlier this year, 444 voters turned out to vote in favor of dissolution of the village, by a tally of 268-176.
Members of the board voted in July to accept the dissolution plan presented to them by members of the Dissolution Committee, which met throughout 2012 to come up with options on the future of the municipality. Through their discussions, the committee decided to move forward with studying a dissolution plan, which was presented to the village board in December.
Before the plan was accepted, village residents filed a petition to bring the matter of dissolution to the polls.
Only residents living inside the village boundaries will be able to vote on the referendum which, if passed, would dissolve the village municipality with residents being served solely by the towns they reside in, either Chesterfield (Essex County) or Ausable (Clinton County).