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Thu., Oct. 8
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Colton may rework law so roads can be opened to ATVs


COLTON — The Town Council has rescinded a local law permitting all-terrain vehicle use on sections of Morgan and Windmill roads and Cold Brook Drive.

The law authorizing ATV use there was approved in August. Six town residents filed an Article 78 appeal opposing the law in October.

About 20 people, including a handful of ATV users, were at the Town Hall last week for a public hearing to rescind the law and the regular board meeting that followed.

Town Supervisor Dennis B. Bulger said he is optimistic the law can be reworked.

“What the town is in the process of doing, because the county has intervened as well, the county attorney is working with the town attorney. They have met and have gone through the whole packet, and it’s their joint recommendation that we go ahead and rescind the present law rather than seeing it through to the Article 78 and redo it,” Mr. Bulger said. “At this time, the county also will be bringing on board some professional people in the SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review Act) and the environmental impact area to take a look at that whole area one more time. At that point, when they have that completed or prior to it, the town will then go through the procedure again of coming up with a town law to open up those same roads. “A big part of what they found in their review is, it’s more of a procedural type of thing than anything else at this point. But they are looking at that; they are working on that. They’ll redo the environmental area.”

Mr. Bulger said there was always a chance that the law would be rescinded, especially with questions regarding open-road use on Route 56.

“I think it was understood from day one that the town law would have to be rescinded if the state did not open up Route 56. We were told that the town needed to pass the law first, open up our roads before the state could open up theirs,” he said.

Department of Transportation spokeswoman Carol Breen said there has been discussion recently regarding opening up Route 56 to ATV travel.

“We have been working with our regional office to collect data including traffic volume and accident data and we had a conference call with the county last week to discuss the request” to open Route 56, Ms. Breen said. “At this point we are considering the option from both a legal standpoint and a traffic and safety standpoint, but at this time no decision has been made.”

Following meetings with the county, the town would like to pass a model law that can be used by other towns in the north country.

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