Fonda may study dissolution, mayor says

FONDA – The village may form a committee to look into consolidating more services with the town of Mohawk and possibly dissolving the village.

Mayor William Peeler said at a village meeting Monday he is open to the possibility of replacing village services with town services.

At the village meeting, resident John Maher asked about whether the village government would look into dissolving itself.

Peeler said a committee may look into the benefits of dissolving the village.

“If you can get the [Mohawk] Town Board to cooperate with that, I’ll be the first one to sign,” said Peeler. “Slowly but surely, what we’re trying to do is consolidate everything to the point where the village is no longer in existence.”

After the meeting, Peeler said, “Ultimately, I’m all for whatever consolidation we can make. If it makes sense and it’s a duplication of services, why not?”

Ultimately, Peeler said, the dissolution of the village would be up to the residents.

He said it could be difficult to push for dissolution of the village. He cited possible opposition from officials in county or town government.

Trustee Thomas Healey said dissolution could be hampered by the fact the village shares its water with Fultonville, Mohawk and Glen.

Trustee Walter Boyd said he would approve of exploring the possibility of dissolving the village if it could result in significant savings.

“Every one of us here are village residents, and there’s no way to pay for duplication of services,” said Boyd.

Mohawk Supervisor Greg Rajkowski said that, to his knowledge, the village never had discussed dissolution before, but consolidation of services has been brought up.

“They’ve [village officials] approached us with three different consolidation efforts,” Rajkowski said, saying that generally town officials have approved of consolidation, except for a request to plow village roads.

Rajkowski said if a merger between the village and town were to occur, certain issues would need to be worked out, such as what to do with the village water services.

“We, as the town, do not have a separate sewer and water district,” he said.

Rajkowski said if the village were to attempt dissolution, the village and the town would have to work together on it.

According to the New York State Department of State, communities considering consolidation may be eligible for a Local Government Efficiency grant to help with studying the feasibility of consolidation or to help with the consolidation itself.

The state also has documents available to help towns and villages in mergers.

Arthur Cleveland covers Montgomery County news. He can be reached at [email protected].

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