The official village government body might dissolve, but there will always be a Fort Johnson.
The fort and historic site will still be there. There will still be a fire station. Ted Ellenwood Park and the park Brandt Street will still be around for residents to enjoy. There will still be the same charming community that’s existed for the past 275 years along the Mohawk River. Even the name will stay the same, only as a hamlet instead of a village.
The overall negative impact of dissolving the village into the town of Amsterdam will be negligible, and in fact many of the changes will be positive for residents.
For instance, town officials have pledged to maintain the roads and ensure they’re plowed during the winter. The fire station will remain in service, and other village services will be taken over and absorbed into the town. The town plans to hire one of the village’s highway workers.
And even if the village’s 470 or so residents don’t have their own official village government anymore, they’ll still have input into how their community develops by having the ability to run for office and serve in Amsterdam town government.
Well, why not just keep the village as it is?
The need for change has become obvious over the last several years, and the transition is necessary. It’s become more and more difficult to get people to run for village offices over the years and to fill the positions necessary to keep the village operational.
The village clerk is planning to retire, as is one of the village laborers. There’s just no point in continuing as its own separate government if the surrounding town can seamlessly absorb all the functions of the village government while maintaining the village’s charm, history and character.
Village residents will benefit when it comes to taxes. Under the dissolution, the village taxes would be eliminated, although residents would be expected to support fire protection services through a fire district tax.
Residents would pay a user fee for sewer services.
With dissolution, village residents would keep their community identity while benefiting from the services that come from being part of a larger government entity. When they go to the polls on Tuesday, Fort
Johnson residents should vote yes on the referendum.
Voting will take place from noon to 9 p.m. at the Village Hall.