Welcome to our community! Whether you are a new business owner, homeowner or tenant, here are some answers to questions frequently raised by newcomers. (A printable version of this page can be downloaded).
What is the difference between the Village of Port Henry and the Town of Moriah?
The Town of Moriah (population about 4,800) includes the Village of Port Henry, and the unincorporated hamlets of Mineville, Witherbee, Moriah Corners, Moriah Center, and Grover Hills, as well as the area between and surrounding these named areas. The Village of Port Henry (population about 1,150) is a separate government entity included within the Town of Moriah. The Town and the Village have separate governing bodies, separate offices, and generally provide separate services. Laws or regulations passed by the Village Board would apply only within the Village limits; laws passed by the Town Board generally apply only to the area of the Town outside the Village, but could apply Town-wide (including the Village), such as the Dog Control Law.
The Village provides the following services for its residents:
In areas outside the Village, the Town of Moriah provides:
There are separate fire districts for various areas of the Town and Village:
All fire districts are part of a mutual-aid pact, which also includes other near-by communities. All of the fire departments are operated by volunteers.
The Town also provides some services Town-wide, for all Town residents whether in-or-outside of the Village:
The Town manages the county-owned Solid Waste Transfer Station, which is used by all residents, whether in or out of the Village limits.
The waste water treatment plant is jointly owned by the Town and the Village, and is managed and operated by the Village. Costs of operating the treatment plant are split between the Town and the Village, based on a pre-determined usage formula.
Garbage Stickers and the Transfer Station
All residents (Town or Village) pay for garbage disposal based on usage. Garbage stickers must be affixed to each bag of garbage. The stickers (currently $2.50) can be purchased at the Town Hall, the Village Hall, or for a small additional fee, at Stewart's, Boyea's Grocery and Deli, Port Henry Mobil, and Grover Hills Deli. The stickers help finance the operation of the Town's transfer station, and are required whether the garbage is taken to the transfer station, or is picked up (by the Village). (See also "Transfer Station location and hours").
Village of Port Henry Garbage Collection
In the Village, garbage (with the appropriate "sticker") is picked up on Monday mornings except on holidays, when the pickup date is the following day. Garbage should be placed on a visible location near the street in bags no larger than 32 gallons, with a maximum weight of 30 pounds. Each bag should have one Town of Moriah garbage sticker affixed. More information (one page) can be downloaded for printing or saving.
Town residents outside the Village are required to take their garbage to the Town of Moriah Transfer Station. (There is no scheduled pickup in the Town, outside of the Village). Regulations and hours of operation for the Transfer Station are available here.
Commercial garbage pick-up services are also available.
The Village of Port Henry picks up recyclables on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. There is no additional fee or sticker for recycling pickup. Please have your recyclables out by 7:00 AM on pick up days. The following items may be recycled and put out for free pick up:
All recyclables must be clean and separated, with lids on plastic and glass removed. Wet cardboard and newspapers will not be picked up. All bags must be tied so that items do not fly off the truck. Recycling should be placed near the curb in clear bags up to 30 gallons in size, or in open boxes.
In addition to the Village pick-up, all residents (Town or Village) can leave recyclables at the Transfer Station during operating hours. There is no fee for leaving the listed recyclables at the Transfer Station; in addition, consumer electronics (most TVs and computers), and most metals, can be taken to the Transfer Station and left for no charge. (Older-style TVs with CRT picture tubes can be recycled for a $10 fee).
When are my taxes due and how do I pay them?
Property owners within the Village of Port Henry pay three separate taxes, all based on the assessed valuation of the property:
Note that Essex County does not issue separate tax bills. The "Town and County" tax bills include the Essex County levies.
Property owners in the Town of Moriah (outside of the Village) pay two separate property taxes:
All tax notices are mailed to the property owner of record OR the mortgage company about 30 days prior to the due date. Due dates, interest or late-payment fees, and actions following non-payment are included on the tax bills. Payments can be mailed or delivered in person to the Village Hall, Town Hall, or the Moriah Central School (as indicated on each specific tax bill).
Additional information on the various budgets and tax rates is available:
How do I connect to utilities and who provides what service?
Major utility providers are
There are also several local suppliers for home heating oil and propane. There is no natural gas service available in this area.
How do I Pay for Water and Sewer?
Separate water districts exist for various portions of the Town, and for the Village. Village water and sewer rates are set by the Village Board. (Costs of operating and maintaining the Village water and sewer districts are borne by the users, and are not part of the Village's property taxes). Rates for Town residents, outside of the Village, are set by the Town Board.
Village water bills, based on usage for the prior 6-month period, are mailed in May and November, with full payment due in June and December. Town water bills are flat-rates, and do not vary by District. Town water and sewer bills are mailed in January, with 4 coupon payments, due Feb. 3rd, May 3rd, Aug. 3rd, and Nov. 3rd.
Water usage in the Village is generally metered at each home and business. Buildings that are not yet metered are charged a flat rate. (The Village's current rate schedule is available here).
The Town of Moriah is located near three area hospitals:
Other major hospitals in the area include:
Health Care providers in the Town of Moriah include
Buildings and Occupancy
All new construction (including demolition, remodeling, and renovations) require building permits (from either the Town or the Village, depending on your location).
Certificates of Occupancy are required for all residences (including apartments), and must be obtained whenever there is a change in ownership or in occupancy. Contact the Village or the Town Code Enforcement Officer, as appropriate.
There is no zoning in either the Town or the Village. There are, however, some restrictions ("building ordinance" or the Village's Developmen Review Law) on signs, sizes of display windows, placement of outbuildings on properties, and setbacks. Specific questions should be discussed with the Town or the Village; there are separate Code Inspectors for the Town and for the Village.
In the Village, there is a temporary moratorium on the conversion of ground-floor retail space to residential space, within the downtown "commercial area". Steps to form a "Zoning Commission" have begun; this Commission will ultimately provide a recommendation to the Village Board, and future zoning may (or may not) result.
A "business license" is not required, but street vendors and peddlers require permits, as do people vending at either of the campgrounds. (Please contact the Town or the Village office for more details).
Water and Sewer Connections and Sump Pumps
All connections to water and sewer systems must be done by Village (546-9932) or Town (942-3340) crews, not by private contractors. A backflow preventer is required on all Town water connections.
If you install a new sump pump, it cannot be connected to the public storm sewer systems. Village residents are also required to have all new sump pumps inspected by the Village.
All dogs must be licensed (and vaccinated for rabies). Please contact the Town Hall.
If you have a specific question about the Town or Village, and aren't sure where to address it or who to contact, use "contact us" (opens in a new tab or new window) and we will respond and/or forward to the appropriate party. And if there are topics that you wonder about, and we have not mentioned them here or elsewhere on this website, please let us know that, too. (And any errors, omissions, or misc. corrections can also be reported, using the "contact us" form).
The most interesting County in the State: Finest trout fishing ....highest mountains .... largest wilderness area, world famous Olympic facilities .... oldest tourist attraction, Ausable Chasm .... Whiteface Memorial Highway (highest in the State).... most important historic sites .... famous lakes: Champlain, Placid, Tear of the Clouds...
Essex County links (these open in a new window or new tab)
This site is maintained by the
Moriah Chamber of Commerce.