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Hamilton County: Is there a future?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - Updated: 6:59 AM

Recent population figures, based upon the 2010 Census, are scary to say the least. According to those figures, the year-round population fell by 543 residents, from 5,379 in 2000 to 4,836 in 2010.

If that drop were to continue at the same rate over the next 10 years the population could fall to under 4,000, and maybe more. Maybe much more if something isn’t done to save our schools.

While many in local government seem to direct most of their concern to how much land is owned by the State of New York, none have raised concerns about the future of our schools.

There is talk about how important it is to save hunting camps and a handful of jobs in the forestry industry, but nothing about saving teachers’ jobs; nor do they say anything about children’s need for a quality education.

Do they care? Does everyone wish the schools with the teachers and the kids would just go away so the school tax would disappear?

What if that wish were to come true? Would the parents of school age children be willing to see their kids bussed to a distant school, one that could be 50 or more miles away.

Would young families stay here? Would any move in? Do you think anyone with children would consider moving to a county that does not have quality schools reasonably near where they would live?

These questions need to be addressed, because if they are not there is no future for Hamilton County.

Parents with children would move out. Parents who have children would not move in. The population would dive far below 4,000. It would become a death spiral.

State, county and town jobs would go begging as more and more families left. Businesses, both for-profit and not-for-profit, would cut their hours or even close as workers left.

Even part-time and seasonal residents would begin to leave as businesses closed, government found it impossible to provided expected services due to a shortage of workers and the all-volunteer ambulance and fire departments failed to provide emergency services because their volunteers were also part of the exodus.

This could happen if there is not a revamp in the priorities of our citizens and those we elect to provide the services we require.

     

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