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Caz Town Board approves new septic system law

— The Cazenovia Town Board met Monday, July 9, to vote on a law regarding the town’s policy towards the installation of alternative septic systems.

Local Law No. 1-2012 was passed unanimously. The new law changes the town’s legal approach to the installation of alternative septic systems in new homes. The existing law allowed for the conversion of a conventional septic system in a home to an alternative system.

However, this law does not permit new homes to be built with an alternative septic system.

Examples of an alternative septic system include sand filter or mound systems that do not adhere to what town regulations define as a conventional septic system but are acceptable under certain conditions.

This issue aroused most of the meeting’s public input. Several Cazenovia residents brought forth concerns about this law to the board prior to the vote.

One concern raised was that the town was putting too much faith in the alternative systems without considering their long term effectiveness and safety.

Another concern was that the language of the law deferred too much power to the Madison County Health Department.

Town Supervisor Ralph Monforte, himself an owner of an alternative septic system, answered these concerns by noting the county Board of Supervisors’ role in the matter. The board is made up of 16 members representing towns in Madison County, and among its functions is the oversight of the Madison County Health Department.

The board operates with a weighted voting system, “Cazenovia’s representation at the county, due to the weighted voting, puts us in a very good position to have oversight over any decisions made with the Health Department at the county,” Monforte said.

Local Law No. 1-2012 makes no change in terms of the county’s role in the regulation of septic systems.

In other board news:

—Town councilors authorized the solicitation of bids for a new hydraulic excavator. This new piece of equipment would be purchased to replace an excavator that is currently in disrepair.

—A letter of support for the development of the Trush building on Route 20 at the south end of Cazenovia Lake was read.

—The board passed approval of the month’s regular expenditures.

Terence Hartnett is freelance journalist for Eagle Newspapers, and a graduate of Cazenovia High School and St. Bonaventure University. He can be reached at hartnetc@bonaventure.edu.

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