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Yates officials support resolutions from Association of Towns, including home rule in siting wind energy projects

Posted 2 March 2017 at 5:14 pm

Press Release, Yates Town Board

YATES – The Yates Town Board and Highway Superintendent Roger Wolfe are very pleased with the results of the 2017 Association of Town Legislative Program Resolutions passed on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, in New York City.

In particular, the Town of Yates is fully supportive of the resolutions titled, Increase Highway and Bridge Funding, Address Unfunded Mandates, and Support Constitutional Home Rule in the Siting of Wind and Solar Energy Facilities.

“These resolutions, passed unanimously by nearly 200 town delegates from across New York State, will become the legislative program for the association in its dealings with the governor, the state legislature, and state agencies,” said Jim Simon, Yates Town Supervisor, who was the delegate selected by the Town Board to represent Yates.  “It is good to know that the association will champion these resolutions in Albany, and we hope that people in positions of authority listen.”

Resolution No. 2, Increase Highway and Bridge Funding, states, “… that the Association of Towns calls upon the Governor and Legislature to increase funding for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs) and ensure that the PAVE-NY and BRIDGE-NY programs are fully funded for the lifespan of these programs.”

Roger Wolfe, Yates Highway Superintendent, praised the association for shining a light on the need to increase funding for highways and bridges.  “These funding programs help Yates not only with near-term paving of town roads and repair of culverts, but they help fund long-term needs as identified by the 2013 NYS Association of Towns Highway Superintendent’s Needs Study.”

Resolution No. 4, Address Unfunded Mandates, states, “…that the Association of Towns calls upon the Governor and the Legislature to enact comprehensive mandate relief legislation that provides permanent and full funding of existing and future mandates and requires legislation to include thorough local fiscal impact notes regarding the actual expense of implementing said legislation.”

Jim Whipple, Yates Councilman, sees the importance of mandate relief across many areas of municipal government. “Every time Albany implements policies, they need to consider the impact it will have on municipalities like the Town of Yates – we should have our voices heard early and often whenever mandates are being considered much less developed and imposed.”

Resolution No. 9, Support Constitutional Home Rule in the Siting of Wind and Solar Energy Facilities, states, “that the Association of Towns supports the constitutional rights of local governments to decide how land will be used within their jurisdiction, which is closest to the citizens of that region; and be it further resolved, that the Association of Towns seeks amendments to the Article 10 state siting procedures to involve local governments and communities more in the siting of industrial wind energy facilities.”

According to John Riggi, Yates Deputy Supervisor, “Any law, like Article 10, which places the final decision about industrial zoning with a siting board consisting of five unelected bureaucrats in Albany and only two members from the local communities, is a clear violation of home rule.”

The Town Board members include Jim Simon, John Riggi, Jim Whipple, Wes Bradley and Brad Bentley.

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