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Hounsfield, Sackets Harbor to discuss sharing services

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The Hounsfield Town Council and Sackets Harbor village Board of Trustees will meet at a time to be determined within the next few weeks to discuss an increased level of shared services, and possibly a merger of governing bodies.

The two municipalities each unanimously approved scheduling such a discussion at their meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

At Tuesday night’s village Board of Trustees meeting, Mayor F. Eric Constance said that the desire to cut costs was driven by reports of large debts at the state level.

“Eventually, all of this stuff trickles down to the locals,” he said.

Mr. Constance said savings could be made through consolidating services and employee positions.

“It’s not for the nit picking,” he said. “It’s for saving money — serious money.”

Town Councilman Todd R. Farrington told the board he agreed with the idea, adding he wanted to also discuss a merger of the two bodies.

“You may be going over the top,” Mr. Constance replied.

Mr. Farrington brought up the idea for discussion among the Town Council on Wednesday.

Town Supervisor Timothy W. Scee said it would be nice to look again into ways the town and village could combine additional services.

Councilman Stephen H. Lee, who noted the two municipalities already share multiple responsibilities, said there would be “a lot of hurdles” between merging boards, given the friction over tasks like salting the icy parking lot of the Sackets Harbor Central School District.

It was reported Wednesday that town Highway Department crews recently had to do the work after the village Department of Public Works declined to do so.

“That’s pretty basic, especially when we’re providing the village salt,” Mr. Lee said.

A discussion of merging planning boards was also met with limited approval.

Mr. Scee said he would call Mr. Constance today to set a time for the meeting, which will be open to the public.

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