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NO. R-83. JOINT RESOLUTION COMMEMORATING THE BICENTENNIAL OF THE FIRST RICHFORD TOWN MEETING AND THE MERGER OF THE VILLAGE OF RICHFORD AND THE TOWN OF RICHFORD.

(J.R.H. 62)

Offered by: Representatives Perry of Richford and Gervais of Enosburg.

Whereas, on the 21st of August 1780, the Governor, Council and General Assembly, thinking it fit to encourage the settlement of a new plantation or organized municipality, in the far northern reaches of Vermont, granted to Jonathan Wells and his associates, a tract or parcel of land "beginning at the Northeast Corner of the Township of Barkshire being in the North line of this State, - Then East in said line six miles, Then Southerly on such point as to gain six Miles on a perpendicular from said line, Then west Parallel with said State line to the southwesterly Corner of said Barkshire - Then Northerly in the Easterly line... to the bounds...", and

Whereas, despite the 1780 date of grant of the Richford Town Charter, the six square mile parcel that was designated as the new town of Richford remained a politically unorganized area for nearly two decades, and

Whereas, finally pursuant to a warning dated March 30, 1799, Stephen Royce of Berkshire called the first Richford Town Meeting at the home of Jonathan Janes, and

Whereas, when this historic meeting occurred, the 16 assembled freemen elected a town clerk, a treasurer, three selectmen and a constable, and established a grand list for 1799 valued at $1,184.25, and

Whereas, by the 1870s, the construction of roads and mills had enabled the village of Richford, centered around the falls, to evolve into a thriving commercial center, and

Whereas, on November 28, 1878, Act No. 202 was approved incorporating the village of Richford as a separate municipality, and

Whereas, for over a century, there existed two organized municipalities of Richford, the village and the town, and

Whereas, the merger of the village and town of Richford into a single organized municipality was approved by the voters of the town of Richford on September 16, 1997, and by the voters of the village of Richford on September 18, 1997, and

Whereas, in 1998, the General Assembly adopted Municipal Act No. M-11 which approved the voters' decision, and the merger of the village and town of Richford became effective on January 1, 1999 ending a legal separation that had lasted 120 years, and

Whereas, 1999 therefore marks both the bicentennial of the first Richford Town Meeting and the year that the village and town begin their existence as a newly unified, organized municipality, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly congratulates the town of Richford on the special occasion of its bicentennial town meeting and extends best wishes as it embarks on a new political existence that includes the village of Richford, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Richford Selectboard.