About the study
The Village of Chaumont, located in northern Jefferson County in New York State, is known for having one of the largest freshwater bays in the world. The Village is popular with both tourists and fishing enthusiasts.
Established in 1874, the Village has a population of about 625 and consists of one square mile in the 55.8 land square miles of the Town of Lyme. Based on 2010 U.S. Census data, the Village accounts for about 29% of the overall Town population.
In the past few years the Village and Town have actively pursued working more closely together. The Village’s three employees – Clerk-Treasurer and 2 DPW employees – are now housed in the Town of Lyme municipal building. Since there is no DPW superintendent, the boards jointly agreed to have the Town Highway superintendent supervise the Village’s 2 DPW workers. In recent months the Village Clerk-Treasurer became the tax collector not only for the Village but also for the Town.
While the Village and Town have separate part-time code enforcement officers, other key services, including court and assessor services, are already provided only by the Town.
Fire protection services in the Village and Town are provided by two independent volunteer fire departments, the Chaumont Fire Company and the Three Mile Bay Fire Company. Both companies are small and work jointly to provide fire protection services community-wide.
In 2010, the Village Board applied for and was awarded a high priority planning grant from New York State’s Local Government Efficiency (LGE) program. The Village appointed a six-member committee and also engaged the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) as study consultant. CGR has extensive experience with government reorganization and will assist the Committee in developing a dissolution study and plan.
The study began in late April 2011 and is expected to be complete in summer of 2012. The Village Board- initiated study and plan are being developed in accordance with a new state law that governs dissolution and consolidation of local government entities. The new law is known as Article 17-A of General Municipal Law.
The Committee will present its draft dissolution study and plan to the community in mid–2012. After receiving public feedback, the Committee will make any needed changes, then deliver its final plan to the Village Board.
At that point it will be up to the Village Board to decide whether or not to put the issue of dissolving the Village before Chaumont voters in November 2012. Key steps include adopting a final plan, holding a public hearing, and holding the referendum.