Town board approves new road use laws for heavy trucking

— 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.

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