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Odessa will vote on village dissolution

ODESSA—Odessa will now have to schedule a referendum vote about dissolving the village, after residents got enough signatures to force the process.
Village Clerk Kristi Pierce said she confirmed the signatures last Wednesday.  She explained for this process there needed to be 75 signatures from Odessa village residents registered to vote, and the petition had 116.
The petition was submitted to the village Aug. 25 by residents Larry Teeter, Jeffrey Greuber, and J.E. Fowler.  Pierce said there were actually 124 signatures total, but four could not be confirmed as registered voters and four registered to vote after signing the petition.
Now, the village has 30 days to schedule a public referendum vote about dissolving the village.  Pierce said the date must be set within 60 to 90 days after the vote is approved.  She explained that this means it would be between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  At the vote, residents would decide on dissolving the village or not.
Meanwhile, Pierce said board member Tim Hicks is forming a small work group to find out as much as possible about the cost effectiveness of dissolving.  She explained that prior to a law change in March, a village was forced to do a study first about the implications of dissolving.  However, Pierce said now that is no longer required.
So Hicks is putting together whatever he can to present to the village and voters.  Pierce said the Odessa mayor, Montour and Catharine supervisors, and county real property tax service Director Tom Bloodgood will be involved.  Montour and Catharine are included because those are the towns Odessa residents would then be alligned with governmentally.
Pierce explained if residents vote down dissolving the village, the process is dropped and cannot be brought back for a vote for four years.  On the other hand, if a majority of residents approve the dissolution, the village has 180 days to create a plan.
Pierce added that residents have a chance to “kill the plan” by starting another petition against dissolution.  She said it would need at least 75 signatures to be valid (unless the number of registered voters within the village changes, then the minimum number would altered accordingly). 

 


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