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Fri., Dec. 19
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Malone rejects dissolution

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MALONE — Voters have spoken, overwhelmingly. The village of Malone is going to stay intact.

Residents rejected dissolution, 1,117 to 562. The issue — in particular, what would happen to the Police Department — had been hotly debated since a study committee was formed last year to present options if the village dissolved.

Options presented by the committee included creating a townwide police department, a police district that would cover the old village area or dissolving the police and having the New York State Police take over patrols. Many residents were concerned that none would suffice.

Maj. Richard Smith, New York State Police Troop B commander in Ray Brook, said last week “We would be reluctantly forced to take over responsibility ... in addition to the robust workload” that troopers have elsewhere.

Malone Supervisor Howard Maneely said he believed Malone could not afford a townwide force.

Dissolution also promised a tax decrease for village residents regardless of whether the state awarded a Citizens’ Empowerment Tax Credit to the town.

Now that dissolution has been rejected, the question remains as to whether the village and town boards will work together for shared services.

A joint shard services committee has been formed; it held its first meeting a couple of weeks ago.

While both sides seemed willing to work together to find efficiencies, no decisions have been made.

Some of the arguments in favor of dissolution suggested that soon enough, the village will become financially insolvent with a declining tax base and population.

However, others argue that the village is doing well.

“Is the village going to be bankrupt? I don’t know, but if you talk to Dolly” — village Treasurer Dolly Maguire — “she says we’re in great financial shape,” said Malone police Sgt. David Merrick.

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