EAST RANDOLPH Trustees discussed at length the premise behind a possible dissolution of the villages in an upcoming vote in March 2010. Before voting on and adopting a resolution to put a village dissolution vote on the upcoming ballot, trustees John Hale and Kevin Quattrone had questions for Clerk Lori Milliman about some of the specifics of the proposal.
A committee has been working on the dissolution plan, along with the comprehensive and zoning plan, and anticipates holding a public hearing so constituents can present their questions before each of the committees. Milliman reported that the zoning law that would encompass all three municipalities is complete.
The next step is to present it in a public hearing to voters. Officials' intentions are to hold the hearings for the comprehensive plan, zoning plan, and dissolution plan simultaneously so that the public may present their questions before the appropriate board. Committees working on the plans are trying to complete them at the same time and present them all together. Milliman stated that there is quite a bit to do on the dissolution and a date will be announced for the hearing in February.
Milliman told board members that a resolution was needed at their meeting so the vote could go on the ballot with the village elections in March because the Board of Elections needed to be notified by January. Setting up districts for the highway department was discussed. There is a split of 32 percent in the Township of Conewango and 68 percent in the Township of Randolph. Funds from sales tax, mortgage tax, CHIPS monies would have to be split up in the villages.
If voters were to approve the dissolution vote in the Villages' March elections, both villages would remain intact for one year after the election. Both would dissolve completely in December 2011 and the Town would take over in 2012. The last budget for the villages would be done as a six month budget. Mayor Van Rensselaer had questions about the continuation of state aid if districts are formed for the highway department; asking if the funds would go to the districts or the town.
Milliman stated that the money would go to the town. She also stated that the decision to dissolve would be made by voters within the villages, not residents of the town. The Mayor went on to state that he has had calls from people who are concerned about the loss of garbage pickup. Milliman stated that garbage pickup will be contracted. She also stated that town taxes will be reduced with the equal distribution of sales tax and state aid from the village. Currently the rate is $6.47 per thousand and would go to $6.43 per thousand after the dissolution for the highway fund itself, stated Milliman.
Lights, garbage pickup and sidewalk maintenance are the basic issues that are left to be addressed. The highway is currently operating under a consolidation plan and the fire district is also in operation. "It's a huge savings," stated Milliman. Both, either or neither villages may vote to dissolve. Milliman stated that it would be East Randolph that would "lose out" if there is a no vote for the dissolution. The tax base would be dispersed over a wider area, stated Trustee Quattrone. Milliman stated that insurance on the building would decrease; they'd be cutting out boards, and combining streets and sidewalks. She also stated that they would receive a better cost on their health insurance. Trustee John Hale asked "Will we lose anything? Are there any cases where we lose anything?"
Milliman replied that no, they would not. She stated that East Randolph saves more than the Village of Randolph. She also stated that the $500,000 debt will stay with Randolph in a special district that would be formed. We will not pick up Randolph's debt, stated the Mayor. Hale pointed out that the sewer and water are self sustaining and no tax dollars per thousand goes to the water. The villages will remain hamlets with no mayors. Instead of village signs, they would be replaced with signs declaring them hamlets. The current zoning laws would stay in effect for two years. After lengthy discussion, the board voted to place a dissolution resolution on the March ballot.
Mayor Van Rensselaer announced that the village caucuses will be announced in January for anyone wishing to put their hat into the ring for the one trustee position that will be up for grabs. The seat is currently held by John Hale, who plans to make another run for the spot. The Mayor stated that the caucus would most likely be held during the third week of January.
Board members went on to discuss the WARN system proposed by Water Superintendent Norm Moon at a previous meeting. Clerk Milliman stated that the village attorney looked it over for the Village of Randolph and didn't report anything unsuitable. Moon was asked to further explain the plan. He stated an example of the event that both bridges were washed out in East Randolph the WARN system could be used to help with the initial emergency.
Participants in Zone Five would be called only. They would be utilized for the first three days to get the village up and running on a temporary basis. This would not be a complete fix, Moon stated. The WARN system works for the wastewater and water and it is up to the board to appoint whoever they deem suitable for the position to be in charge. This person would decide if a call would be put in to the WARN system in the event of an emergency. There are only three states now that are not WARN states, reported Moon. He also stated that people don't come during an emergency unless they are contacted for assistance. It works the same way when the village is called to assist elsewhere; they don't have to go if they don't find it feasible to do so.
The Primary Emergency Contact person has to be appointed by officials. If the primary is not around, they would call on a secondary. After clarification of the program, officials voted to participate in the WARN system and appointed Norm Moon as the Primary Emergency Contact, as recommended by the Mayor, with Jay Smith acting as the secondary.
With the financial instability of outgoing Quality Markets and Lake County Dairy, garbage stickers will only be available at the clerk's office.
Milliman reported that after the audit, the auditor stated he would like to see a more in depth audit down by board members.
The dissolution committee meets on Jan. 5 at 7 pm.
The next regular meeting of the board will be on Jan. 25, due to a holiday.