Voters To Decide If Douglas County Village Should Be Dissolved

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GARRETT--The future of a Douglas County village will be decided at the polls.

As Election Day approaches, the normally quiet streets of Garrett are lined with signs of controversy.

"A couple of individuals had been out gathering signatures in a petition to actually dissolve the village board," said village board president, Rocky Warner.

When board members increased fines for residents leaving littler on their lawns back in April, a fed up family went door to door in May, asking neighbors to sign on and shake up the local government.

"That's why the petition was drew up, but it was more to open up the city's eyes about what the voters here in town really wanted," said Andrew Gray, who canvassed the village alongside his brother Mike in search of signatures.
    
They brothers amassed 44 signatures and, as a result, on November 4th, the villages 92 registered voters will decide if they want to keep their village together or let it become an unincorporated area in Garrett Township, when they encounter a proposition on their ballots asking them if they should dissolve the small town.

"It's just kind of a lose lose situation if they decide to vote us down," said Warner.

Village officials say that without a board of trustees, Garrett's park would be sold, snow removal would be canceled, and utility bills wouldn't get paid.

"They would treat it like any other unpaid service," said Warner. "And the lights would be shut off and at a later time the street lights would disappear."

"A street light is not that expensive," said Gray. "If the city is dissolved, personally I'll pay for one of them here myself."

"If there was nobody to take up billing and maintaining our water lines and our water tower, they could possibly, actually shut our water off," said Warner.

"I didn't know the water was a potential," said Gray. "But they've had all this time to look into it."

And residents will be able to look into those issues and their implications at a public meeting scheduled for Monday at 6 pm.
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