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Malone weighs pros, cons of dissolving village Lower taxes eyed: Workers would become employees of the town; police coverage is a concern

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MALONE — Residents considering whether their village should be dissolved can attend a public hearing Tuesday to learn about a study examining the ramifications.

The 90-page document outlines options and recommendations should the village of Malone dissolve. It recommends that village departments — including general administration, Department of Public Works and Code Enforcement — simply make their workers town employees.

During a meeting of village trustees Aug. 13, Town Clerk Susan Hafter said, “Instead of calling it a village, we’re calling it a town with special districts. There’s no guarantee we’ll get anything from the town.”

“The village and town are not separate communities, they are one,” said Boyce Sherwin, who said he has lived in Malone for four decades.

Mr. Sherwin said he feels a town manager should be hired full time rather than having a part-time town council.

“I will 100 percent support the village and town being combined into one entity,” he said.

The village tax rates would decrease from $23.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value to $19 per $1,000, contingent upon the receipt of the Citizens Empowerment Tax Credit from the state. On a property assessed at $50,000, taxes would decrease from $1,175 to $950. Without the credit, former village taxes would be $21 per $1,000.

Town taxes would decrease from the current rate of $8 per $1,000 to $7.40 per $1,000 with the credit. On property assessed at $50,000, taxes would decrease from $400 to $370. Without the credit, taxes would increase to $9.40 per $1,000.

The Efficiency Committee suggested that a special police district continue service within current village lines and contract through the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department or be supervised by town officials. But the document lists two other options for police coverage: eliminate the Police Department and have the state police patrol the village, in addition to current patrols, or convert the village Police Department into a townwide force.

Contracting with the Sheriff’s Department would mean a total cost of $1,012,390 per year, which would include two lieutenants, three sergeants and 10 deputies, according to Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill. The village Police Department’s current budget is $1,380,216 per year, according to the dissolution document.

Converting to a town police force would require 18 officers, village Police Chief Christopher J. Premo stated in a letter to the Efficiency Committee. The department is currently operating with 12 officers.

Voicing concern, Mr. Premo brought up the dissolution of the village of Seneca Falls, which now has a town Police Department.

“They are overwhelmed, and their budget has not gone up at all,” he said.

Following their meeting last Monday, trustees said they have not made any changes to the document since endorsing it.

The hearing will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the village office building, 16 Elm St. The study and plan is accessible with a link on the home page at www.cgr.org/malone.

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