The Village of Camillus has been around for more than 150 years. Tuesday, residents voted to keep it that way and not dissolve into the town - despite the potential for saving money. Our Iris St. Meran has more on the potential impact of the vote.
CAMILLUS, N.Y. -- It's a tiny village, but one many in Camillus are proud of. Tuesday, residents voted down a referendum that would have dissolve the 159-year-old village into the town.
Village of Camillus Mayor Patricia Butler said, "I feel as though we're not quite ready for that necessity yet. And that was it happened ever so quickly without really good information to all the residents."
The residents, if dissolved, would have saved $77 annually on a home assessed at $100,000. The state even offered an incentive, up to $1 million to the town, but Butler says there's no telling how much would have gone to the village and it wouldn't amount to what she calls the village's personal touches.
"Our trash pickup, our leaves and brush, our demolition and debris, our plowing. Those are really very important to the residents, a quality of life issue for people," said Butler.
Over the past few years, other municipalities have also voted to keep their village government intact. Government experts say it's not surprising because these governing bodies make the community what it is.
"Having the local village, and having that being a real political entity is part of what gives a community its sense of identity. Even if costs money, people are willing to pay that to keep that," said Syracuse University Public Affairs Institute Director Grant Reeher.
County Comptroller Robert Antonacci, helped to crunch the numbers. He says it's difficult to say what the impact could be down the line, but has some suggestions that could help the bottom line like having a town-wide highway district.
Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci said, "Let the town do the highway charges and they could become part of that overall district. Certainly, outsourcing its garbage pickup would be one other avenue they could look at. One could envision a village that is really a figure-head government and the services are being provided by other entities."
The mayor-elect says in her new role she plans to have transparent government so her constituents will know how their money is spent, in hopes they won't have to revisit this particular process down the line.