CORINTH -- Members of a study group that has spent the last year looking at the issue of shared services and dissolution in Corinth are inviting residents to hear what they've learned at a meeting this week.
Consultants and committee members of a study group will present their findings and take questions about the work that's been done Wednesday evening at the Corinth Volunteer Fire Department.
The committee accepted a report outlining the options and potential tax impacts in September but has called the meeting to get residents' input before making a final recommendation to the Village Board.
The board will use the report and the committee's recommendation in deciding whether dissolution should come to a vote or if more opportunities to share services should be explored.
If trustees decide to move forward with a vote, they would also have to come up with a formal dissolution plan that spells out how village assets, like the village hall and vehicles, would be shed.
The feasibility plan put together over the last year would only serve as a framework for such a plan.
A state law that went into effect in March also allows residents to submit a petition with signatures from 10 percent of residents to force the issue onto the ballot, even if a dissolution plan has not been completed.
Committee members have said they hope residents will use the findings that have been produced to weigh all of the advantages and disadvantages of dissolving the government before forcing the issue.
Few residents have attended the committee meetings, and Wednesday's meeting is part of a coordinated effort to engage the community on the topic.
Committee members also plan to meet with community groups in the coming weeks to share the results of the study.
"If they (residents) don't come to us, we have the option to go to them, and that's what we'll do," said Melanie Denno, the village deputy mayor and a member of the study group.
According to estimates in the report, a village taxpayer with a $100,000 home could expect to shave $145 a year from the property tax bill if the village were to dissolve, and as much as $242 if the state agrees to pay incentives being offered to local governments that agree to dissolve.
A town resident could save up to $48 or pay $48 more if no state aid is received, the report states.
The estimates are based on each government's latest budgets. Under those budgets, a village resident with a $100,000 home will pay $1,135 in village taxes, including water and sewer fees, and a town resident will pay $391 a year in town taxes.
Committee members have expressed reservations about dissolution, despite the potential for tax savings.
The loss of local control, anxiety over unanticipated costs and the potential for a number of special taxing districts to maintain services such as lighting and police protection are fueling much of the skepticism.
But some committee members have also said residents should be allowed to vote on the issue regardless of the committee's feelings. Until a vote is held, they've said, the issue will linger.
Immediate action is not necessary, however.
The report provides a snapshot based on the town's and village's most recent budget figures, but Joseph Stefko, a consultant who worked with the study group, said the findings could be applicable for several years.
Stefko has worked on similar studies in dozens of communities and said it's not unusual for there to be resistance to change.
Recent activity around New York underscores that point. Voters in a half-dozen villages in western and central New York have voted against dissolution within the last several months, and the issue is at a standstill in Lake George, where a dissolution plan was finished a year ago.
"Change is hard, particularly when we're talking about the delivery of essential services," Stefko said. "It is not a slam dunk argument, as we've seen."
A committee looking at the issue in Schuylerville is expected to wrap up its study early next month, just as another begins in neighboring Victory.