Coterminous Town-Village Information
Hello Town of Crawford Residents,
Many of you signed a petition to form a coterminous town-village in the Town of Crawford. The Town Board has approved this petition, and we are asking registered voters to vote on this referendum on December 12, 2023, between 8am and 9pm at the Crawford Community Center, 115 St. Rt 302, Pine Bush. We believe this move is in keeping with the Master Plan formed in 2014 and adopted on May 18, 2017. At that time, town residents, business owners, town officials and others came together to form a comprehensive plan for the Town of Crawford. Surveys were sent out to all residents, and public Community Visioning sessions were held to determine what we all wanted for our town. Part of the Mission Statement that was formulated included the following:
We pledge to work in partnership with our residents to foster community pride, to develop a vibrant, diversified economy, to plan for the future, to support the health and well-being of all residents and to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of our environment through strong relationships between residents, the Town, businesses, educators, non-profits, and our faith-based community. The Town of Crawford will facilitate a forward-looking, people-friendly community that champions our community’s diversity and results in a better place to live, work, play and raise families.
We believe that forming a coterminous town-village strongly supports the vision of Town of Crawford’s future that we all shared. Many of you have asked questions about what this actually means for our town and residents. We hope the following information answers these questions for you.
What is the petition asking for? The petition is a request by Town residents to transform Crawford from a town to a consolidated or coterminous town-village. Coterminous means having a shared border. The new village would take up the Town of Crawford entirely. This means that no other villages could be formed within our town. At the time of this writing, this is still possible. The residents who signed the petition want to keep the Town of Crawford as it is, without any other villages being formed within our town limits.
What would happen if another village were formed within the Town of Crawford? If another village were formed within the Town of Crawford, they could form their own municipal government, enact their own laws, and create their own highway department and ambulance services. This could, and probably would, result in additional expenses and overlapping taxes for Town of Crawford residents.
If the petition passes, will it prevent other villages being formed within the Town of Crawford? Yes, if the petition passes, it will prevent other villages being created within Town of Crawford borders. We would form a coterminous village which means the village would be the exact same size as the Town of Crawford with the same borders. We would then immediately form the village back into a town called the Consolidated Town of Crawford, but we expect that it will informally continue to be referred to as the Town of Crawford.
Why would we transform the village to a town? Reverting back to a town format would enable us to keep everything in town exactly the way it is: the same highway department, ambulance services, utilities and water service, Town Board, Town Supervisor, Town Clerk and Tax Collector format. It would be the same Town of Crawford we now know, only now we can be sure that no other villages will be formed within our borders.
When do we vote on this proposal? On December 12th, you will have the opportunity to vote on this proposal. It will be a “combined referendum,” because it will ask you to vote on two things: (1) forming a coterminous (sharing the same boundaries with the Town of Crawford) village and (2) transforming that village back into a town.
What exactly will we be voting on? Two yes/no questions will be posed to eligible voters as follows:
- Should the Village of Crawford be incorporated pursuant to the elector-initiated petition? NEED TO VOTE YES TO PASS
- Should the newly-incorporated Village of Crawford be immediately consolidated with the existing Town of Crawford to create the Town-Village of Crawford? NEED TO VOTE YES TO PASS
Why should I vote yes for each referendum? The existence of a village prevents other villages from incorporating within the same borders. The creation of a town-village within the Town of Crawford’s existing borders will prevent any other villages from incorporating in the Town of Crawford.
What happens if I vote yes to one referendum and no to the other? If you vote yes to one referendum and no to the other, your vote will count as a NO. In order for your vote to count as a YES, you need to vote yes to both items in the referendum: (1) yes to forming a coterminous village and (2) yes to transforming that village to a consolidated town.
What changes will be made to the existing Town Board and Supervisor powers if the petition passes? No changes will be made. The Town Supervisor and each Town Board member will retain the same abilities.
Will there be any extra steps or changes in the process of applying for building permits? No, the procedure will not cause any extra steps or changes in the building-permit application process.
Will there be any changes in our current zoning laws?
No, the procedure itself will not cause any changes to the current zoning laws.
Will this change result in any type of new taxes for the new town-village? No, there will be no impact on taxes for the new town-village.
Will it be necessary to re-assess all the properties in the new town-village? No, there is no need to impose a reassessment of properties within the new town-village.
Will this in any way affect our current school district boundaries? No, the school district boundaries are not affected by this procedure.
What is required for this petition to pass? In order for the petition to pass, a majority of residents have to vote yes to BOTH items in the referendum.
What happens if the petition doesn’t pass? If either referendum fails, the reorganization will not take place, and the process cannot be reinitiated for at least four years. During that time, other villages could be formed within the Town of Crawford. This is why it’s important to vote yes to both items so that we will become a consolidated town and no other villages can be formed within our borders.
Are absentee ballots permitted? Absentee ballots are prohibited for incorporation referendums, so they would not be allowed in this vote.
The Town Supervisor and Town Board strongly encourage all to vote yes to both questions in the dual-referendum to keep our town whole and undivided. If you have any questions or concerns about this vote, feel free to stop in to Town Hall and see the Town Supervisor or Town Clerk or call 845-744-2020.