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Public hearing held on possible dissolution

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Albany/HV: Public hearing held on possible dissolution
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Hundreds gathered in Middleburgh to talk about the possibility of dissolution. A vote will take place next month on whether to dissolve the village of Middleburgh into the town that shares the same name. As YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, most residents came to ask questions about a matter they say they haven't gotten enough information on.

MIDDLEBURGH, N.Y. -- "As a member of the village you're taxed by the village, but you're also taxed by the town, and there's a duplication of services," said Gary Hayes.

Should the village of Middleburgh dissolve into the town that shares the same name, and already so many of the same services? That's the question hundreds of residents filled the high school auditorium, hoping to get answered, before the matter goes to a vote.

"I hope it doesn't pass because what will the village have?" asked Araxi Dutton Palmer.

"I'm concerned will this save us money or cost us money?" Paul Hayes asked.

Village officials say the simple answer is a dissolution would save village tax payers money, and cost town tax payers money. The problem is, how much money isn't exactly known, and would take months to figure out.

Mayor Matthew Avitabile said, "Town taxes are going to go up. How much depends on how many services we retain, so if we retain most of our services than taxes will go up even further."

"There is a lot of lack of information and it's hard to make a decision," John Shaw said.

John Shaw came with the Middleburgh Volunteer Fire Department to let voters know if the dissolution does goes through, village firefighters aren't going anywhere. Shaw says an information packet sent out by the village told residents if there's a dissolution, that means no more fire department.

Shaw said, "We're here, we don't plan on going anywhere, there are options, not totally on the mailing they got this past weekend, but there are other options."

The vote will take place at the Town Hall on February 19th, but under state law, only village residents can vote on the matter.

"We all need to research this and talk, this effects everyone, not just one person," said Shaw.

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