Updated 04/20/2012 07:30 PM
Norwood begins study to become town
It hasn't been done in more than 200 years: Making a village into a town. But Norwood is willing to try. After receiving a $50,000 grant from the state, Norwood hired consultants to begin a dissolution study, while also looking at becoming a township. Our Cara Thomas tells why the village started this whole thing in the first place.
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NORWOOD, N.Y. -- Just months ago, it was the Village of Potsdam that was considering dissolution into the Town of Potsdam. But a yearlong study revealed that village residents were the only people who would benefit, leaving more taxes for everyone else living into the Town of Potsdam.
Norwood Mayor James McFaddin said, "Had the Village of Potsdam dissolved, it would have more than tripled the taxes in Norwood."
That's because the Village of Norwood is primarily located in the Town of Potsdam. So they would be hit with their normal village and possibly heightened town taxes. Residents in the Village of Potsdam ended up voting down the plan to dissolve, but officials in Norwood want to be ready anyway, just in case.
"As a result of their study on dissolution, we realized that the Village of Norwood better get some plans and options available because we expect in two years or less the Village of Potsdam will be revisiting dissolution," said McFaddin.
Those options include dissolution, becoming a town and sharing services with other municipalities. If they became a town, they would look to extend that new proposed town line about two miles further into Potsdam. But they're not going it alone. Thanks to $50,000 in state grant money, consultants have been brought in to explore all of the options. They've toured the area this week and sought out community feedback.
Kent Gardner, who is the President of the Center of Governmental Research, said, "We need to talk to people in the community about what services are provided now, how they're being provided and then what might happen if the village did go away and then the other question, what would happen if the village did get to be bigger."
It could take up to a year for the consultants to come back with their final findings. The village has also formed a committee to help with that process.
By making Norwood into a town, Mayor McFaddin says he believes taxes for village residents would go down. He also believes people in the outskirts of the Town of Potsdam would be better serviced if Norwood expanded. He says if things go well, they may consider expanding into the Town of Norfolk as well later on down the road.