Jan 23, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The Cazenovia Town Board is moving forward with regulations to protect town roads from possible damage by high impact trucks such as those used in the currently-contentious industries of gas mining (hydrofracking) and wind farming.
The board unanimously approved at its Jan. 14 meeting a resolution that will allow it to move forward to enact Local Law No. 1 of 2013, “A local law to enact a local road use and preservation law in the town of Cazenovia.” The law would establish a comprehensive scheme for the regulation of high impact vehicles on town roads and for the preservation of such roads. The high impact vehicles to be regulated by the law includes those such as are used in the hydrofracking, wind farming and other heavy industries, said Town Attorney John Langey.
The proposed law, which is currently not available for public viewing on the town website but can be requested from the town clerk, states that the intent is to “protect the town roads from excess damages caused by frequent passes of heavy trucks.” 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.
There are currently 78 roads covering 60 miles that are designated as “town roads” in Cazenovia, according to the town highway department website. The proposed law would not affect heavy industry traffic on county or state roads, which would include the major thoroughfares of routes 20, 13 and 92.
Applicants will be 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.