Feb 18, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Industries that utilize heavy trucks for transportation of goods, or “high impact vehicles” — such as those in the gas drilling, wind farming or mining businesses — must now acquire town approval before hauling over any town-owned roads in Cazenovia and either preemptively improve or, if damaged, repair, any roads they may traverse.
The Cazenovia Town Board unanimously approved Local Law No. 1 of 2013, “A local law to enact a local road use and preservation law in the town of Cazenovia,” at its Feb. 11 meeting after holding a public hearing on the law and declaring the law would have no significant environmental impact on the town.
The law establishes a comprehensive scheme for the regulation of high impact vehicles on town roads and for the preservation of such roads. It requires all developers of large construction and high impact projects to submit a haul route application and project traffic worksheet with the town highway superintendent, who will determine if the proposed activity will exceed allowed road usage.
Applicants are responsible to pay for repair of any roads damaged by their trucks, to pay for any necessary upgrades to town roads required to allow their trucks to pass over town roads or to find an alternate route for their trucks if necessary. Violators the law will be subject to fines from $5,000 to $25,000 and/or imprisonment from three to nine months per violation, and can be issued stop-work orders by the town highway superintendent.
The law does not affect heavy industry traffic on county, state or federal roads, which would include the major thoroughfares of routes 20, 13 and 92.
Cazenovia resident Jonathan Holstein asked during the public hearing if this law was designed mainly to regulate possible hydrofracking in the town.
“This is not designed specifically for hydrofracking, it is much more comprehensive,” said Town Attorney John Langey. He said the law would apply also to mining, windmills or other such industries that involve heavy trucking.
Holstein said was concerned that the law was reactive rather than proactive, and did not prevent companies from damaging roads.
Town Supervisor Ralph Monforte said the law “gets us into the conversation of what will occur [by heavy trucks transporting on town roads] much sooner than without it. All the information from the company is given up front. It’s an opportunity for us to have input and impact on the results [of the trucking].”
“We’re dealing with what we have control over,” said Town Councilor Kristi Andersen. “It’s a way for us to respond to the potential negative effects from any of these uses.”
After unanimously declaring a negative declaration of environmental impacts from the law — stating the law would not only have no negative environmental effects on the town but would actually have positive effects by preventing road damage, noise, dust and odors — the board voted 4-0 to approve the law. Councilor Liz Moran was absent.
Also at the meeting, the board:
—Held a public hearing on and voted to approve the town’s proposed Agricultural Protection Plan. The plan identifies locations in the town that consist of high quality agricultural soils that are suitable for agricultural production, and offers policies and recommendations designed to encourage the long-term protection of farmland, farm-friendly development regulations, agriculture-related economic development and tourism and increased public awareness of the importance of agriculture to the community. The APP is available for public viewing on the town website.
—Authorized the highway department to purchase a new John Deere mower at a cost not to exceed $10,352.97.
—Approved a request by the New Woodstock Women’s Softball League to use the New Woodstock ball field.
—Authorized the execution of an agreement with Crawford & Stearns architects for the firm to prepare a Request for Proposals for the town, for solicitation of professional design consultants for the proposed renovation work to the Gothic Cottage. Once the RFP process is completed, the board will hold public information sessions on the project, probably starting in May, Andersen said.
—Approved a salary increase of $24,000 over a two-year period to the town assessor for his ongoing work on a town-wide assessment re-evaluation. The authorization also requests the assessor to submit a timeline for completion of the project.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.