About the study
In March 2010, a new law took effect in New York State that governs the dissolution and consolidation of local government entities. Under the new law, known as Article 17-A of General Municipal Law, voters in the Village of Altmar presented a petition to the Village on July 7, 2010 calling for a public referendum on dissolving the Village government and merging operations in the Town of Albion.
Article 17-A requires that any vote on dissolving a village be held prior to the development of a dissolution plan. On November 10, 2010, Altmar became the first village in the state to approve dissolution under the new law. The vote was 80 to 74.
As a result, the Village is required by law to prepare and adopt a dissolution plan. Subsequent to the vote, the Village Board appointed a seven-member Dissolution Study Committee. In addition, the Board successfully applied for a state Local Government Efficiency grant to fund development of a dissolution study and plan and alternatives to dissolution.
In early April 2011, the Board engaged the independent, nonprofit Center for Governmental Research (CGR) to serve as study consultant to the Study Committee. CGR has extensive experience assisting similar study committees across the state.
The Study Committee will deliver a proposed dissolution plan to the Village Board so that the Board can approve a final dissolution plan no later than May 31, 2011, as required under a timeline defined in state law. After the Board approves and publishes its dissolution plan, it will hold a public hearing on the plan in the summer of 2011. After the public hearing, the Board will approve the final dissolution plan.
Following approval of the final dissolution plan by the Village Board, voters in Altmar will have the opportunity, if desired, to conduct another petition drive to require a referendum on the plan itself. If that drive is successful and a second referendum is held, it too must pass in order for the dissolution to take effect. If the second dissolution vote fails (i.e. the vote to dissolve the Village does not receive a majority of votes), the Village will not dissolve. Four years must lapse before another dissolution petition can be served on the Village. Also, if there is no second referendum the dissolution plan will take effect on the date identified in the final approved dissolution plan.