Preston and Marinich Join Together to Rework Proposed Road Use Agreement

Broome County Executive Debbie Preston and Chair of the Legislature Jerry Marinich today announced that they’ve joined together to rework the proposed Road Use Agreement that passed the Legislature on November 15th.

Per State Law, a Public Hearing must be held after a Local Law resolution passes the Legislature. Then the CountyExecutive is granted 30 days to sign or veto the resolution.

“Last week we held a Public Hearing about this proposed law and heard directly from many local companies about possible effects to their businesses,” said Preston. “They spoke and we listened. So, with the support of Chairman Marinich and the Legislative Majority, I’m vetoing this resolution so we can rework it to address these concerns.”

“We’ve listened to the comments from individuals and business leaders on the potential impact of the proposed Road Preservation Law and look forward to working over the coming months to develop a new proposal,” stated Marinich. “Putting the brakes on this and allowing for more time to hear from the public is an example of how good government should work.”

The proposed law‘s stated intent was “to ensure that the County’s roads are not damaged or harmed to the overall detriment of the County by a few individual users who utilize the roads in a manner that causes extraordinary deterioration of the roads”.

However, several citizens and businesses raised concerns at the December 4th Public Hearing about the impact on them as longtime frequent users of the County’s roads, including potential costs that they may have had to incur, like permitting or documentation expenses.

“The last thing we want to do is cause an undue burden on local farms and businesses that employ thousands of people in BroomeCounty,” added Preston. “Going forward, even though State Law calls for Public Hearings after certain resolutions are passed, I’ll be setting hearings for some issues prior to a vote. It’s the right thing to do.”

“It’s critically important that we protect our roads from harm caused by activities that have the potential to cause extraordinary damage,” said Marinich. “At the same time, we also need to ensure that any Road Preservation Law takes a balanced approach and protects jobs and local businesses from excessive hardship."

As their next steps, Preston and Marinich committed to meet with concerned parties over the next few months and then work on developing and passing an amended plan.

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12/12/2012 - 5:10pm