CHAMPLAIN - The village of Champlain board of trustees is taking a long, hard look at the future. And, that future might mean it no longer being in it.
The board is currently researching the possibility of dissolving the village as a municipal entity following a letter submitted to the village by resident John K. Triller. In his letter, Triller formerly requested the board take "immediate and appropriate action for the dissolution of the village."
Triller cited the fact the village no longer operates a police department or court among reasons for the move.
"The Town of Champlain Court has absorbed the former court's responsibilities," wrote Triller. "Police matters have been deferred to the New York State Police and the Clinton County Sheriffs Department. The remaining Village departments and offices could also be commingled with existing offices within the Town of Champlain."
Village employees should also be considered for future employment status within their respective careers as part of the dissolution, Triller suggested.
Champlain Village Mayor Gregory Martin, who was appointed to the role of mayor in October, said the village is taking a serious look at the suggestion, which has been mulled over off and on for several years. The village has two avenues in which to pursue dissolution, said Martin. One would be by choice of the board and the second would be by a petition signed by village residents requesting the village begin the process.
"There's a bit of difference whether it's initiated by the board of trustees itself. The procedure's the same. It's just the time frame," Martin said. "I'm still gathering research, looking at what must be done. And, it's quite a long, drawn out affair."
The services rendered by the village such as clearing the sidewalk of snow in the winter, would have to be considered as well. If the village were to dissolve, its responsibilities would be that of the town of Champlain, in which the municipality is also located.
Champlain Town Supervisor Larry G. Barcomb said he hasn't had conversation with village officials about the proposed dissolution yet and said he had "no clue" what the process would involve. "I don't know what the cost savings would be. I don't know how we would integrate things," said Barcomb.
However, Barcomb speculated a process to dissolve the village, if pursued, would be at least a one- to two-year process.
As for now, Martin said he'll continue to head up research on dissolution, and continue to communicate with the board and consult with the village's attorney to discuss the process.
"We'll discuss our options and look at what we think is the best option for the village residents and we will proceed from there," Martin said. "Every village is unique, and in talking to some people, I think they like that identity, that sense of local control. We'll listen to what they want."