WESTFIELD - More tolls could mean more trucks.
That was part of the reason David Carr, Westfield mayor, gave in asking the Westfield Village Board to approve a motion opposing the proposed toll increases on the state Thruway. Carr said he is concerned the 35 to 45 percent toll increase on heavy vehicles proposed by the Thruway Authority will encourage truckers to find alternatives to Interstate 90.
"My fear is if those trucks start coming off on Route 5 and 20, we're gonna have an unpleasant situation here," Carr said.
The mayor has written letters or sent emails in opposition to the increase to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office as well as state legislators and local legislators. Carr said he does not see a need for the increased rate.
"The Thruway Authority owns the Erie Canal and I think that is sucking the money right out of the Thruway," Carr said.
"Toll hikes is just going to increase trucking cost, is just going to increase food which is going to increase everything," Trustee Chris Jaynes said.
The motion for the board to oppose any tool hikes in the near future was passed unanimously.
Jim Pacanowski, code enforcement officer and building inspector, told board members the Department of Environmental Conservation has changed its rules on outdoor wood burners. While the changes are supposed to be enforced by the DEC, the organization wants towns and villages to put the new rules into their local zoning laws.
Carr was not in favor of such an addition, and neither was Pacanowski, who added he knows of only one location in the village which could accommodate rule that an outdoor wood boiler be 100 feet away from any property line.
Trustee Rob Cochran asked Pacanowski if he had learned of any new tools as to what can be done with abandoned homes after attending a recent seminar put on by the New York Conference of Mayors. Carr, Pacanowski and Vince Luce, village clerk, attended the seminar, Code Enforcement and Other Tools to Deal with Vacant, Neglected and Abandoned Properties, though Pacanowski said there are not many options other than using the property maintenance code and zoning codes to charge them and take property owners to court.
"It didn't give us any new alternatives on how to do it," Pacanowski said. "We don't have any money to do these."
Carr said issue banks and loan companies don't want to foreclose and be responsible for the properties. So they pay the taxes on them meaning, there is nothing the village can do.