October 24, 2017
VAN ETTEN, NY (WENY) -- In August, residents in Van Etten submitted a petition requesting a referendum on dissolution of the village.
The Village then hired Rochester-based firm CGR to conduct a study.
Tuesday night, community members learned the results of that study, which examined the fiscal and service impacts that move would have.
"There's a potential for a median home-owner to somewhere in the neighborhood of about $280 a year and there would be changes to their services, particularly in the area of fire protection and with refuse," says Paul Bishop, Associate Principal, CGR.
Many services are already handled by the Town of Van Etten, or at the county level. The town would pick up or absorb some additional responsibilities if the village were to be dissolved.
"The code enforcement officer would have to review more permits and to do more inspections. The town clerk might answer a few more phone calls, and someone would have to take over the water billing. Right now that's done by the village clerk - that would be done by a town employee, whether it's someone in the clerks office or a new employee, we couldn't really answer at this point," Bishop says.
The services the village currently operates would be turned in to special districts.
"A sidewalk district, a streetlight district, and they would need to expand their fire district to include the village. And they would need to create a water
district. So those are four services provided by the village today that the town would need to create a special district to take over," Bishop explains.
CGR is not recommending voters select yes or no at the dissolution vote, but offer pros and cons for both decisions.
"The pro is that residents would be able to save money on their taxes and they would receive comparable service to what they are getting today. The con is the loss of control, the loss of identity of the village, and there is the potential that some of the services that some of the village residents have come to accept might go away if the town were to take over," says Bishop.
The dissolution vote will take place on November 13th. Should a vote in favor of dissolution be decided, the Village must then develop a plan-of-action within 180 days, which must then be adopted by the village. It is possible that the community could vote down that plan-of-action, in which case a dissolution will not take place.
CGR has a dedicated website to information associated with the dissolution study. Tuesday's presentation is expected to be available by the end of the week.