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Norwood board members keep options open for dissolution, creating town

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NORWOOD — The Board of Trustees has accepted a study outlining possible plans for the village’s future, including dissolution or forming a new town, but board members say they do not plan to take any immediate action.

“I’m always grateful for all the information we get together, but I’m not ready to make a decision on it yet,” said board member Mike P. DiVincenzo.

The study was commissioned last year, when the village of Potsdam was considering dissolution. If the dissolution had been approved, town of Potsdam residents might have seen a significant tax increase.

Some Norwood residents viewed creating a new town as the best way to remain in control of their own taxes. But the plan is not without its difficulties. The Center for Governmental Research study indicated dissolving the village of Norwood while maintaining services would lead to a tax cut for Norwood property owners and a tax increase for those who own property outside the village.

The creation of a new town, which is almost unprecedented in New York state, would raise taxes for Potsdam residents living within the borders of the new town, and would likely prompt a political fight.

The village board accepted the study but did not endorse any plans for the village’s future.

“We didn’t adopt and we didn’t endorse it, but we accepted it,” said board member Timothy A. Levison.

Village board members say more information needs to be gathered before any action is considered.

“At this point, I think we’re going to look the report over on a regular basis and try to refine it,” Mr. Levison said.

The village of Potsdam may someday return to the question of dissolution, and at that point the study will be beneficial to Norwood residents, according to Mr. DiVincenzo.

“I’m believing we really needed to do some fact-checking, do some background stuff and be prepared for whatever comes down the road,” he said. “I think it’s something to keep in the back pocket until we get looking at it and make sure it’s a good direction for everybody here.”

Mr. Levinson said he also does not plan any immediate action, but if enough village residents make it clear that they want to act on the plan he will back them, as long as it is clear whatever option is being pursued is the best for the village.

“There are some of them that want something done right away,” he said. “I can’t see any big rush in it.”

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