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Town board sets public hearing for new road use law

Proposed law would allow town to regulate high impact vehicles, such as those used in hydrofracking, wind farming

Kathleen Emerson

— Violators of 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 will not impact regular business traffic, and local companies currently running trucks on town roads, such as those hauling milk, grain, gravel and wood would be exempted from the proposed law, said Town Councilor Bill Zupan, who serves on the town’s high impact industry committee.

“This is a tool the town can use to protect the town roads if high impact traffic ever happens,” Zupan said. “Whoever does damage will be responsible to fix it. We don’t want trucks making 500 trips a day over one road, tear it up, then leave and the town is responsible to fix it. This is just another arrow in our quiver to protect something we feel we can protect no matter what happens.”

The board’s Jan. 14 vote on the proposed law did not approve the law but simply moved the legislative process forward. “All this does tonight is set it down for a public hearing and establish the town as the lead agency,” Langey said.

The resolution designated the town as the lead agency for the proposed action; declares the village of Cazenovia, the Madison County Planning Department and the Madison County Department of Transportation as interested agencies during the state-mandated environmental review process; and that the town must submit a Long Form Environmental Assessment form to determine the environmental impacts for the action.

The town board will hold a public hearing on the law at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, in the town office.

Further information about the high impact industry at the county, state and federal levels, visit the town’s website at townofcazenovia.com and click on the “High Impact Industry” link. A list of town roads in Cazenovia also can be found on the town highway department web page on the town website under the “Departments” link.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at editor@cazenoviarepublican.com.

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