This notice was posted on the front door to the Port Henry Village Hall when the municipality dissolved on March 31. A padlock was placed on the door until the locks can be changed.
Photo by Lohr McKinstry
MORIAH – Now that the Village of Port Henry is no more, it’s up to Town of Moriah officials to try to soften the shock of transition.
“We’re in the belly of the beast right now,” Moriah Town Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava said. “It’s extremely busy; a lot of things to do. We’re doing it and we’ll get it done.”
The village of 1,200 residents dissolved as a municipality on March 31 and the town took over most of its functions and all of its properties on April 1. Village voters made the decision in a 2015 referendum.
Scozzafava said the Port Henry Village Dissolution Plan prepared by a joint committee, of which he was a member, has been helpful in guiding their progress.
“We stuck to the plan as we said we would,” he said.
The major village property acquired by the town was the Champ RV Park and Campground on Lake Champlain, due to open for the season on Memorial Day weekend in May.
Moriah Town Council members Paul Salerno and Luci Carpenter are in charge of the operation of the former village campground.
“We’ve been trying to make a smooth transition,” Salerno said at a recent Town Council meeting. “We’ve removed some dead trees, and that let us add two campsites.”
The Champ RV Park and Campground had about 100 sites before the tree-cutting.
The former village Department of Public Works crew, which was absorbed by the town, will now be assigned to maintain the Champ RV Park as well as the town’s 150-site Bulwagga Bay Campground.
The five full-time members of the village crew were split up between the Town Highway and Buildings and Grounds departments when the village dissolved.
In addition, Richard Lapier will now be the maintenance foreman at the campgrounds for 20 hours a week, at $16.70 per hour.
Former village building code officer William Ball was hired by the town to do property maintenance code enforcement, at an annual salary of $5,000. Lapier will remain the town codes officer, doing permit issuance and inspections.
Because he is now supervising some of the former village crew members, Town Buildings and Grounds Superintendent Ed Roberts was reclassified under State Civil Service Law to management-confidential status.