The village was formed to provide services (such as sidewalks, water, and sewers) to the villagers that the rest of the, mostly rural, town citizens did not want, and did not want to pay for.As the town outside the village developed, they gradually added similar services for themselves, and by 1958, the first hints of merger showed up in a voter petition.
The town as a whole (including the village) got to vote once on the merger, and the village, separately, got to vote in a second ballot to accept the merger if it passed the townwide vote.
This was confusing enough that the regional paper misreported the results as a defeat of the merger, based solely on the vote results outside the village.
On December 6, 2006, a petition to reconsider the merger was submitted to the town.
The petition contained signatures totaling more than 5 percent of registered voters, which is the threshold required to force a re-vote.
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Essex is the most populous town in Vermont and second most populous municipality after Burlington.