MALONE — The committee looking at village dissolution here will hold another meeting at 6:30 tonight at the Village Offices to refine its draft plan before presenting it to the Village Board Monday.
Members will meet at 16 Elm St. to incorporate comments taken from the second of two public hearings held Wednesday night at the Franklin Academy auditorium.
About 25 people turned out to learn more about the preliminary recommendations and to express their support for the Village Police Department and its staff.
The Government Efficiency Study Committee and its consulting firm, the Center for Governmental Research of Rochester, worked to identify possible shared services between the town and village as well as possible consolidated functions, merged staffing and redundant equipment.
Details include estimated tax savings, transfer of debt, employee contracts, inventory of assets, equipment evaluation, police services, highway maintenance and more.
The full draft report can be viewed online at www.cgr.org/malone.
Tax rates for homes inside the village would go from $23.50 to $19 per $1,000 of assessed-property value with an average savings of $330 a year for a property valued at $75,000. The town rate would go from $8 to $7.40 per $1,000 or about $55 a year for a $75,000 home.
But those figures depend on the town receiving a $750,000 tax credit from the state, which must be included in the state budget each year.
If the tax credit doesn’t come through each year, the average tax rate inside the village would be $21 per $1,000 and $9.40 per $1,000 in the town.
Among the recommendations from the break-out groups that looked at departments in depth was to merge municipal offices into one building and have all employees, including Highway Department and Department of Public Works, work for the town; the Highway Department and DPW would retain as they are now.
Special districts would be created, with fees charged to the property owners benefiting from those services.
That includes village street lights; leaf and brush pick-up; village water, including town users; village sewer; village debt to cover ongoing retiree health-care costs; and village police if special legislation creates it.
Police services have been the biggest question, with the committee recommending creation of a police district for properties within the village and its immediate outskirts paid by those property owners.
The rest of the town would continue to rely on the State Police for protection.
But state law does not allow a town to create a district that without State Legislature approval.
The committee said Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) and Assembly member Janet Duprey (R-Peru) have agreed to sponsor a bill of that kind. But many attendees were skeptical that the measure would make it past Albany lawmakers and up to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who may not sign it into law.
And current officials are also worried that creating a town police force could cost upwards of $450,000 to staff, equip and pay the officers the first year, according to figures supplied by Police Chief Chris Premo and read by Town Supervisor Howard Maneely.
Calvin Martin said the tax savings and draft recommendations are “pie in the sky” and that the village residents would be marginalized by the town if the village dissolves.
Dave Werner said he’s already paying double for village services because half of the properties are tax exempt, and that people like him will pay even more if the village dissolves because there are exempt properties in the town.
Town Clerk and former Village Board member Susan Hafter said the committee should remember the village was formed because citizens wanted extra services like street lights and were willing to pay for them.
“Do we want to give up our identity?” she said. “There is no guarantee we’ll get anything extra from the town.”
Boyce Sherwin said eliminating the village would end the competition between the two municipalities and form one government to “run the town like a multi-million corporation” that it is.
The Village Board is expected to receive the recommendations during its regular meeting Monday and has the option to accept it and do nothing or make changes and hold a formal, public hearing in August to have enough time to get the issue placed on the Nov. 6 ballot for village voters to decide.
There are 4,092 residents in the town and 5,911 residents in the village, according to 2010 U.S. Census figures.
And there are 3,109 registered voters in the village as of Wednesday, according to the Franklin County Board of Elections.
Email Denise A. Raymo: