WILSON – Exploring village dissolution is on the agenda for this week’s meeting of the Wilson Village Board.
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday in Village Hall, 375 Lake St.
A group of Wilson residents, angry over a 39-cent tax hike to a rate of $8.11 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, circulated a petition last month testing support for dissolving the village.
The petition, with 180 valid signatures, was deemed sufficient to force the Village Board to hold a referendum.
The board will set a date for the vote when it meets Thursday.
According to state law, the vote must be held between 60 and 90 days after the board enacts the resolution to hold the referendum.
If the referendum fails, no one is permitted to pursue dissolving the village again for four years.
If the vote passes, the Village Board will have seven months to devise and approve a dissolution plan.
Once such a plan is approved, the board must hold public hearings and possibly amend and adopt the final plan.
The state also allows for a second vote on the issue.
If residents aren’t happy with the board’s dissolution plan, they would have to file a second petition within 45 days of the board’s adoption of the plan in order to force a second vote.
But the new petition would require signatures from at least 25 percent of the village’s 842 registered voters.
The first vote required only 10 percent.
If the second petition was deemed valid, a second referendum would be held to dissolve the village.
Mayor Bernard “Bernie” Leiker said officials from the state Department of State have pledged 50 percent of the cost of an independent study to determine the viability of dissolving the village. But, he added, others knowledgeable about these studies said the state often pays the entire cost.
He added that he has learned that if residents vote to dissolve a village, the state also may provide up to $100,000 to implement the dissolution plan.