Village residents overwhelmingly said “no” to referendum that proposed dissolving the village during a vote at Richfield Town Hall on Tuesday.
Richfield Springs Village Clerk Dayle Barra said Wednesday morning 288 residents voted “no” on the referendum and 48 voted “yes.”
That’s a 6 to 1 ratio of those who voted against the referendum.
The issue was put to referendum after former Otsego County legislator Alexander Shields received 100 signatures on a petition in July to have the village of 1,264 dissolved and its services handled by the town of Richfield.
Only village residents were allowed to vote.
Shields stated in an advertisement the dissolution would result in a savings in excess of $200,000 to village taxpayers by eliminating duplicate services.
He said his estimate was based on factual information provided by the town and village clerks under the Freedom of Information Act.
Richfield Springs Mayor Richard Frohne II spoke out against the referendum saying specifically there were little, if any, duplicated services between the village and the town and that there wouldn’t be any savings in expenses.
“I’m pleased with how the vote turned out,” said Frohne during a telephone interview Wednesday. “It was overwhelmingly rejected. I’m also pleased with the sheer number of people who came out to vote; over half of the registered voters, a little over 50 percent.”
Frohne said this was an important vote.
“On a good election, we have 90 voters come out. We heard the voice of the people. I knew this was important to people. It hits at the heart of who we are,” he said.
Frohne also said Wednesday he believes some of those who originally signed the petition changed their minds about it once learning more of the details surrounding it.
Shields couldn’t be reached for comment.
The issue cannot be brought up again for another four years, said Frohne.