General Municipal Law Article 17-A of General Municipal Law provides a unified process for the consolidation and dissolution of local government entities. As allowed under Article 17-A, the dissolution of the Village of South Nyack was initiated by a citizen-initiated petition. The electorate of the Village voted by referendum to dissolve the Village by a vote of 508 to 292.
The next step required by legal statute is to create a Dissolution plan within 180 days of the referendum. While this Plan is only REQUIRED to address the 12 components detailed below, the Village Board has determined that it is in the best interest of the citizens of the current Village of South Nyack to work collaboratively with a government operations consultant, Laberge Group, to develop a Dissolution Plan that goes beyond those requirements to also develop transition and implementation strategies.
The following 12 components are required to be included in the final Dissolution Plan:
- The name of the Village to be dissolved;
- The territorial boundaries of the Village;
- The type and/or class of the Village;
- A fiscal estimate of the cost of dissolution;
- A plan for the transfer or elimination of public employees;
- The Village’s assets, including but not limited to real and personal property, and the fair value thereof in current money of the United States;
- The Village’s liabilities and indebtedness, bonded and otherwise, and the fair value;
- The manner and means by which the residents of the Village will continue to be furnished municipal services following the entity’s dissolution;
- Terms for the disposition of the Village’s assets and the disposition of its liabilities and indebtedness, including the levy and collection of the necessary taxes and assessments;
- Findings as to whether any local laws, ordinances, rules or regulations of the Village shall remain in effect after the effective date of the dissolution or shall remain in effect for a period of time;
- The effective date of the proposed dissolution;
- The time and place or places for a public hearing or hearings on the proposed dissolution plan.
This was a Citizen-Initiated Dissolution process. On August 14, 2020, the electorate of the Village of South Nyack submitted a petition for dissolution in accordance with the Article 17-A of General Municipal Law. The petition contained 200 valid signatures. Pursuant with Article 17-A, the Village Board of Trustees passed a resolution calling for a referendum on the proposed dissolution by the electors. The referendum was held on December 17, 2020 and the electorate voted for dissolution 508 to 292.
As stipulated in Article 17-A of General Municipal Law, the Village of South Nyack is required to develop a Dissolution plan within 180 days of the referendum. This Plan is required to address the 12 components detailed in the response to Question 1 above. The Village Board of Trustees has determined that it is in the best interest of the citizens of the current Village of South Nyack to work collaboratively with a government operations consultant, Laberge Group, to develop a Dissolution Plan that goes beyond those requirements to also address transition and implementation strategies.
As required by legal statute, the Village Board of Trustees met within 30 days following the referendum vote. The Village Board now has 180 days to create a Dissolution Plan and set a future public hearing.
Yes, in fact there will be a number of public meetings and opportunities for public engagement. The public meetings will include (1) a kick-off public information meeting that will include an informative presentation as well as an interactive question and answer period, (2) a second public meeting to provide key findings of the draft plan so that public input can be solicited prior to presenting the formal draft, and (3) a required public hearing on the Draft Dissolution Plan. There will also be opportunities to participate in virtual Office Hours, which will be facilitated open discussions. Please see the Public Information page of this website for details and to sign up for notifications when times and dates are set for public information/discussion opportunities.
The fastest way to submit a questions or concern is to use THIS FORM.
Written comments may be submitted directly to the Village Clerk at:
Village of South Nyack
282 S. Broadway
South Nyack, NY 10960
Information will be made available on this website, in the local newspaper, and posted at the Village Hall. Check this website periodically for updates.
Yes. Please use THIS LINK to access the New York State Department of State’s list of Dissolved and Incorporated Villages.
We have assembled answers to additional questions we’ve received from citizens of the current Village of South Nyack below. Please click on each question below to view the answer provided by Laberge Group.
Generally speaking, we suggest taking a look at your tax bill that you recently received to see the assessed value of your home.
Options 1 is to take the current Village and Town tax, subtract 32%, add in the garbage fee of $360 and you will end with an estimate of your new town tax.
Option 2 is to locate the assessed value of your home on your recent tax bill, divide the number by 1000, and multiply it by $13.80. This will be an estimate of your new tax (you will also be responsible for private refuse pickup at approximately $360/year and have to add this to your figure). You can then determine the difference between the new estimate and our old tax.
Please see page of the document for an estimate on the new tax rate, and page 7 for an example of how to figure out your individual savings. Please note that your assessed value is 42% of your full market value at the time of the assessment.
This recommendation can be reviewed by the Steering Committee and if approved can be added in the final plan.
This recommendation can be reviewed by the Steering Committee and if approved can be added in the final plan.
The Executive Summary may require a revision to more accurately reflect the plan recommendation regarding the historic preservation issue. The following items may be offered for consideration:
Page 3. Identified historical areas of the Village are recommended for inclusion under the Town’s Historic Areas Review Board.
Identified historical areas of the Village are recommended for protection and a Local Historic District should be established to allow protection under the Town’s Historic Areas Review Board (HARB) or protected through a Critical Environmental Area regulations under the protection of the Town’s Architecture & Community Appearance Board of Review (ACOBOR).
Pages 43 & 44. The Dissolution Plan suggests and perhaps could be strengthened with the revisions bolded and underlined below.
Since the Village has not up to this point acted to directly establish municipal historic preservation regulations, such as by forming a NY State Certified Local Government body, like would be embodied in a Village Historical Preservation Commission or Board, it is supposed there is limited, or possibly inadequate time available to achieve this objective now. For instance, the New York Department of State’s 2002 publication ‘Certified Local Government (CLG) Program in New York State: Information & Regulations Regarding the Certification Process’, covers requirements and the process for certification. It includes a requirement to adopt and enforce a law with preservation standards, plus a requirement to formally request the State Historic Preservation Officer’s (SHPO) certification of the CLG. This process would likely take a minimum of three months to align these requirements, and possibly longer. However, should the Village complete the historic survey for South Nyack’s eligible areas and initiate the CLG process, it is possible that such a law could be substantially developed for the Town’s consideration shortly following the dissolution of the Village and enabled as a Town Historic District. Should this occur, the Historic District would be under the control of the Town’s Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB).
However, should this not occur the alternative is to provide protection under the Village’s Critical Environmental Area regulations found in Zoning §330-10.A. ‘CEA 1: Hudson River Area’. Per Village zoning text, is described as an area east of Broadway bounded by the easterly length of the Village along the Hudson River, by the northern boundary of the Village, on the western side by the center line of South Broadway, and by the southern boundary of the Village of South Nyack. The zoning, paraphrased, highlights this CEA’s role in the protection, preservation, and enhancement of important aesthetic and scenic qualities associated with such proximity to the River and it notes the historic significance of this area, including its architecture. If this CEA is retained in Town law, it can be used to regulate the conservation of South Nyack’s historic character. For example, it could be setup to be invoked when a project is defined to be subject to State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) standards, such as when an Action is Type I according to 617.4, or it determined to be Unlisted when compared with 617.5 or Town Code 11-B-3. Orangetown Town Code Chapter 2 establishes and enables an Architecture & Community Appearance Board of Review (ACOBOR). This body provides for quality of design in the exterior appearance of buildings or land developments. According to Orangetown’s Zoning for Historical Areas (Article X – Administration & Enforcement, Section 10.7 – Historical Areas), all properties located in a “Historic Area” in the Hamlets of Tappan and Palisades are subject to the review and jurisdiction of the ACOBOR. It could be recommended for land use actions in the Hudson River Area CEA and CEA 3: Mountainous Area, which includes areas west of Route 9W to the western boundary of the Village, to be reviewed by ACOBOR. Likewise, when adequate study of historic building features and attributes exists for locations west of Broadway, these could also be considered for being subject to ACOBOR jurisdiction.
Two alternatives are presented in the Dissolution Plan. The first enables the historic preservation through a designated Local Historic District. The second enables historic character to be preserved through the regulations afforded to the Critical Environmental Areas. The latter is less restrictive.
This recommendation can be reviewed by the Steering Committee and if approved can be added in the final plan. It was recommended that Orangetown consider adopting pieces of the Village’s zoning immediate (the “hybrid approach”) to enable a cohesive local law, and this approach recommended that the existing bulk regulations be incorporated for ease of adoption
The Steering Committee may want to consider refining the plan recommendation to include a statement on the FAR.
However, it is recognized that the current bulk regulations for the Village utilize an outdated approach. The Steering Committee may want to refine the recommendation to recommend that the Town should consider including a floor area ration (FAR) or a form-based code to properly manage the historic form of the Village during its full zoning update and as it would be appropriate at that time to evaluate the needed approach for maintaining and protecting the Village’s form.
The Plan represents the current policy of the Village Board of Trustees. The majority of the current retiree health care costs paid by the Village (including their share of police), reflects retiree health benefits for police retirees. These benefits are provided pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement with the Rockland County Police Benevolent Association. Any change would require negotiation and agreement with the union. Modifications in benefits are policy issues for the board and its legal counsel and post-dissolution this would be assumed by the Town Board.
We believe there is one employee eligible to retire prior to the proposed dissolution date of 3/31/21.
An actuarial review of the retirement liability can be a transition/dissolution cost should the Village or the Town request it. It is not a part of our dissolution plan scope. The current annual value has been provided based on today’s cost for employees retired as of 3/31. It is assumed that the costs will go up and then level off once employees are of Medicare age.
Property ownership and use that is reflected in the plan was provided through the planning process and ownership was confirmed by the Town Assessor. Any additional questions regarding parkland designation should be referred to the Village Attorney for research and response.
This recommendation can be reviewed by the Steering Committee and if approved can be added in the final plan. The actions contained in the suggestion should be done after the 45 day waiting period. The steering committee may also want to consider adding to the recommendation a statement that says “The Village of South Nyack recommends that any and all historical documents that become the possession of the Town of Orangetown via dissolution be catalogued by the Village and/or Town Historian and donated to either to the historical archive in the Nyack Library Local History Room or to the Historical Society of the Nyacks”
Please refer to slide 32 of the presentation from the second public meeting for an explanation of CETC. (CLICK HERE to view a PDF of the presentation slides). The CETC is the Citizens Empowerment Tax Credit which is equal to 15% of the joint tax levy of the Town and Village and is capped at a $1,000,000 award to the Town to be used to lower the overall amount to be raised by taxes. Every taxpayer in the Town of Orangetown will benefit, although the savings are very low from the CETC as the $1,000,000 reduction is spread over all of the taxable properties.
Per the Town Assessor, Gesner Avenue Park is part of the tax parcel with S/B/L66.69-1.23 for the Elizabeth Street Park. Gesner Ave. Park is footnoted in Table 7.
The listing of street lights was the list provided by the Village. Any specific questions should be directed to the Village.
Upon dissolution, the Town Police will be responsible for patrolling the park and hamlet-wide police protection. Please direct your question on current public safety issues to the Village Board as they are responsible for security prior to dissolution. After that date, the Town would be responsible for park security.
Thank you for your comment. Please note that there is no “Town of Nyack”, there is a Village of Nyack. However, the Village of South Nyack is currently charged with developing a Village Dissolution Plan per Article 17-A of the General Municipal Law due to the petition and subsequent referendum vote to dissolve. Prior to the petition, should the villages have wished to consolidate, they would have had to follow the same process for either a citizen initiated or board initiated consolidation, the subject which is not part of a village dissolution plan. Should there have been a petition submitted to consolidate the villages during this process, a simultaneous vote would have taken place during the development of the dissolution plan, and a simultaneous plan could have been developed.
Should the village continue forward through the dissolution, it will become an unincorporated hamlet within the Town of Orangetown. At that point there is nothing stopping the Village of Nyack from working with the property owners within the former village to annex into the Village of Nyack.
Thank you for your comment and concern. As you are aware, the former college property is not a Village asset or liability. The questions posed are not germane to the closing down of the Village, however, should the Village purchase a portion or all of the property, then the debt would have to be included in the assets and liabilities calculations and will become a future debt for the legacy district. Responsibility for future land use decisions and negotiations with the property owner will rest with the Town after 3/31/22. Please note that the Town of Orangetown is embarking on the development of a Comprehensive Plan, and this question may be better suited for that process.
The legacy cost presented reflects that of the current retired employees. In addition there is one person eligible to retire prior to dissolution, and that may increase the cost. The transfer of police officers will follow the relevant sections of the NYS Civil Service Law and the Rockland County Police Act.
All outstanding debts are required to be paid by the former village taxpayers.
The law is silent on this. We are not attorneys, but our conversations with the Town have resulted in their support for applying the proceeds from the sale of land, equipment and other assets to cover outstanding legacy obligations. This can be in the form of a refund, they can place it in escrow to pay down future legacy costs, or they can use it to pay for transition costs – in the end, it is up to the Town on how to handle the new assets (financial, land, equipment, etc.).
Thank you for contacting us regarding these concerns. We would direct you to the Village attorney for a response as the issues noted are not part and parcel to the development of a dissolution plan. All we can address in your question relates to the future costs of litigation. With regard to future costs of litigation, generally speaking, when a Village dissolves, outstanding legal fees, current and future liabilities or judgments are assigned to the area formerly known as the Village as a legacy cost. As to the remainder of your question, please contact the Village board and/or attorney for answers to the lawsuit.
A) The college property is not owned by the Village and as such is not part of the distribution of assets or closing out of liabilities part of the Dissolution Plan. B) The question of whether or not the Village can buy some of the property is not a Dissolution issue, and should be addressed with the Board of Trustees. C) Once the Village dissolves, the Town of Orangetown will be in charge of zoning and codes, until then the Village of South Nyack Building Inspector is tasked code enforcement. D) This is not a dissolution issue and the question/comment should be addressed with the Board of Trustees.
The Village of South Nyack Board of Trustees accepted the Draft Dissolution Plan on June 8th and set the Public Hearing for July 21st in accordance with Article 17-A of the General Municipal Law.
After the hearing they have up to 60 days to adopt the final plan.
In order to limit the versions of the plan available, and to minimize confusion, there will be no formal changes made to the plan until after the Public Hearing on July 21st.
We will however be issuing a white paper of sorts that lists the proposed changes prior to the public hearing after the steering committee meets. We will post these to the website, and after the public hearing submit one final plan with those changes to the Village Board for consideration and action.
To your question, we are not changing the executive summary or the report to deal with what you referred to as “any confusion” from the law (as we have previously stated, the law is flawed in many areas and silent in others). The Department of State has opined previously that a successful permissive referendum will end the dissolution, and that has been the practice to date. They have also provided a statement to this in their guide “If a majority votes in favor of the plan taking effect, the dissolution will take effect on the date specified in the proposed dissolution plan. Without a majority vote, the referendum will fail and the dissolution will not take effect [§785(1), (8)].”
Should there be a successful petition and if that referendum yields a result with a majority against the plan, and should there be litigation brought to continue the process due to the ambiguity in the law, then a judge would provide a decision that would become the basis for case-law.
To your last point – the public hearing notice does not state that the permissive referendum defeats the plan. It states, “After the public hearing, the Village Board will have up to 60 days to adopt the Final Dissolution Plan. Village residents will then have 45 days to petition for a referendum on the Plan. The petition must be signed by 25% of registered Village voters. If the referendum passes, the Village will dissolve on March 31, 2022. If no petition is brought within 45 days, the Village will dissolve on March 31, 2022.”
We hope that this provides some clarification as to how we are proceeding. We look forward to seeing you at the Public Hearing on July 21st.
Page Updated June 29, 2021