Richard Weidmann hands out copies of the draft dissolution plan during the Aug. 22 public hearing at the Keeseville firehouse.
While the government may go away, Keeseville would remain.
That was the message that Tim Weidmann of Rondout Consulting opened with during the second of three public hearings in the Keeseville Dissolution Committee process held at the Keeseville Firehouse Aug. 22.
While Weidmann said he felt there would be no loss of identity with a loss of government, others disagreed.
“We could all do a little better for the village if we all thought a little more unselfishly about the village,” Dr. Phil Reines said. “This is 200 years of history, and that is an intangible. Keeseville will be here forever in name, but something will be lost that none of us will be able to realize until it is gone.”
Weidmann opened with saying that he felt the only thing that would be lost was a layer of government which could be absorbed into the towns of Chesterfield and Ausable at a savings to the taxpayers of all three municipalities.
“Places are different than corporations,” Weidmann said. “The post office will not leave. The school is not going to change its name. When you drive around the area, there are a lot of places that are still named after the village that used to be there, just without the corporation part that used to be there.”
Weidmann said that the research into the dissolution study, which is now being used to help draft a dissolution plan, has shown that there will be a potential savings for residents of the village as well as the two towns in which the village is located.
“There is a possibility of savings for everyone, but there are some important caveats that go with that,” he said. “There are a lot of shades of gray in any study like this, and we have to look at how do we achieve the goals that we set out to accomplish.”
Reines said he felt there were not enough benefits financially based on the preliminary dissolution plan.
“All of the financial benefits really do not amount to very much, because look at what you are giving away,” Reines said. “There are all of the benefits of the village and now the towns will be taking those away from us.”
The draft dissolution plan will be worked on over the next two months before a third public hearing. Afterward, a finalized dissolution plan will be presented to the village board, who will decide if the process will continue or if they will remain a village without going to vote.
Under the draft dissolution study, residents of the village of Keeseville that is part of the town of Ausable would see a potential 50 percent decrease in their taxes, while there would be a 51 percent decrease for residents of the village that is part of the town of Chesterfield. Both towns would see a 9 percent decrease for residents who live outside of the current village boundaries.