Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Mamakating would receive additional state funding if Bloomingburg dissolves 

The Town of Mamakating has no say in the dissolution of the Village of Bloomingburg, according to Benjamin Syden, of the Laberge Group, who addressed the nearly 80 people gathered at a Mamakating Town meeting Tuesday night.

The Village of Bloomingburg, in southern Sullivan County, has submitted a petition to dissolve itself.  Syden gave an overview of the process.

The village, founded in 1833, had 420 residents at the time of the 2010 census. If the residents of the village vote to dissolve, Bloomingburg will retain its name but become a hamlet in the Town of Mamakating.

The vote is on September 30.

Saving money is a big factor in this proposal.

Governor Cuomo, who is a proponent of consolidation of services, has created legislation known as ‘the Citizen Empowerment Tax Break,’ according to Syden.

“Which means that, should the village dissolve, the town will get, in perpetuity, fifteen percent of the joint tax levy,” Syden said.  “That’s as a grant from the state. That means that the town will get anywhere from $620,000 to $800,000 a year, from the state.”

Seventy percent of that must go to lowering taxes and the remaining money can be used for services.

The study is being conducted to attempt to answer many questions: Things like what services does the village provide? How will the town take over these services?  What will happen to the sewer and lighting districts? What effect will this have on the school district? Would students from Bloomingburg go to Pine Bush schools?  If there is no longer a village as an entity who will be in charge and how much money will it save? What will the town’s budget be?

The findings of this study will be posted online by September 23; there will be another public meeting on that date.

It won’t be like flipping a switch, according to Syden.   There will be a gradual melding of services. The village is applying for a grant of $50,000 to help pay for legal fees.

During the public comment period, members of the Hasidic community expressed their concern over the effect the dissolution may have on their housing development. As the meeting was of the town board not the village board those concerns were not addressed.


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