BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — As of the New Year, the Village of Van Etten in Chemung County no longer exists.
The village has dissolved and services have been absorbed by the Town of Van Etten.
In 2017, residents voted to dissolve the village, 103-76. Supporters, like Heather Gable, point to tax savings. She’s a resident who circulated the petition that brought dissolution to a vote. Before the vote, Gable complained about the town’s property tax. “We’re the highest in Chemung County,” Gable said. “Something has to be done.”
“If we can get the village and the town to unite, we can bring these rates down significantly,” Gable added.
A consulting group hired to come up with the dissolution plan project 11 percent savings on property taxes for village residents.
Opponents of dissolution wanted the village to keep its autonomy. Van Etten Mayor Jake Briggs was one of those opponents.
Just after village residents voted to dissolve, he said “Disappointed is a word. Unappreciated is another.We really thought we’d been doing a better job over the last 141 years of representing people in this one square mile, but we’ve been told different.”
Briggs and other opponents to dissolution blame their defeat on alleged misinformation. He and the rest of the village’s employees are now out of a job. The Van Etten village website says the village doesn’t exist and directs inquiries to the town of Van Etten.
The Village of Van Etten had been incorporated since 1876.