Suffolk County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature 3-9-1982 by L.L. No. 7-1982 (Ch. 287 of the 1985 Code). Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of certain local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Ferry review fee — See Ch. 948, Art. VIII.
455a Uncod LL Pro

§ 455-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to carry out the licensing and rate-setting functions imposed on the Suffolk County Legislature by § 131-g of the Highway Law, Article 8 of the Navigation Law and Article 6 of the Transportation Corporations Law. This Legislature intends to establish reasonable requirements for the provision of continuous and adequate ferry service in the County of Suffolk and reasonable rates.

§ 455-2 License and franchise required; application and issuance procedure; term of license.

A. 
No ferry service operator, from one side of the water over which it passes to the other, shall engage in the transportation of persons or property in the County of Suffolk unless a license and franchise have been granted to such operator by the Suffolk County Legislature.
B. 
Application for a license and franchise shall be made by a verified written petition to the Suffolk County Legislature and shall contain such information as is required by the relevant New York State legislation. The petition shall specify:
(1) 
The service to be rendered, including a year-round schedule of ferry service to be offered during the term of the license.
[Amended 5-7-2013 by L.L. No. 25-2013]
(2) 
The term of license and franchise request.
(3) 
The identity of the petitioner.
(4) 
Routes over which the petitioner proposes to provide service, including the fixed termini, if any, between which the ferry service operations are to be conducted.
(5) 
That the ferry will be kept within the County of Suffolk.
(6) 
The numbers and names of the proposed vessels to be employed by the petitioner in the performance of said ferry service.
(7) 
The names of owners of real estate through which that part of the highway adjoining the ferry shall run.
(8) 
The rates proposed to be charged by the petitioner for ferry service.
(a) 
If said rates shall be the same as those previously authorized by either a court or the Suffolk County Legislature, it shall be so stated, and a certified copy of the order or resolution, as applicable, shall be annexed to the petition as exhibits.
(b) 
If said rates shall be an alteration, reduction, change or modification of existing rates or if the petitioner is applying for the initial grant of a license and franchise, then the petitioner shall comply with § 455-3 of this chapter.
C. 
The Suffolk County Legislature shall hold a public hearing in respect to said petition for a license and franchise at a regular meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature, to afford a reasonable opportunity to all interested persons to make objections thereto or to suggest changes therein, with notice of said hearing to be published in the official newspapers of the County in accordance with Article II of the Administrative Code. The grant of a license and franchise to operate a ferry service in the County of Suffolk shall be effectuated by the adoption of a resolution by the Suffolk County Legislature. Such a resolution shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the total membership of the Suffolk County Legislature. The license and franchise may be granted on such terms and conditions as may be required by the Suffolk County Legislature.
D. 
A license and franchise granted by the Suffolk County Legislature shall remain in effect during the term specified therein unless terminated as herein provided. Upon application of the licensee or franchisee or on the motion of the Suffolk County Legislature, the license and franchise may be amended or surrendered or revoked, in whole or in part, for failure to comply with the terms of the license and franchise, including a substantial reduction to the ferry service schedule, any provisions of this chapter or of any relevant law or regulation governing the operation of ferry service operators. A license may be amended, revoked or surrendered only after a public hearing has been held before the Suffolk County Legislature. Upon a motion of the Suffolk County Legislature to revoke or amend a license and franchise, the licensee or franchisee shall be given seven days’ written notice of the public hearing.
[Amended 5-7-2013 by L.L. No. 25-2013]
(1) 
All ferry service operators will file with the Clerk of the County Legislature their summer, fall, winter and spring schedules of service, either electronically or by certified United States mail, within five business days of their publication to the public. Ferry operators shall notify the Clerk of any changes made to these schedules during a season. Ferry operators will not be required to file a schedule for a season during which they do not operate their ferry service.
(2) 
For the purposes of this section, a "substantial reduction" of ferry service shall mean a twenty-percent reduction in round-trips between terminals during the course of a year or a forty-percent reduction in round-trips between terminals during a season. Reductions in service will be calculated by comparing the schedule of service submitted by a ferry operator at the time its license is approved or renewed and the seasonal schedules of service that are submitted by a ferry operator. Individual trips cancelled due to inclement weather, emergencies and Acts of God shall not be considered in calculating a reduction in service.
E. 
The license and franchise shall set forth the rates to be charged by the ferry service operator for the transportation of persons and property and the schedule of ferry services to be provided. The petition for a license and franchise shall comply with the provisions of § 455-3 of this chapter, if applicable.
[Amended 5-7-2013 by L.L. No. 25-2013]

§ 455-3 Determination of rates.

A. 
An application for the establishment, alteration, reduction, change or modification of a ferry service rate shall be commenced by the filing of a verified written petition with the Clerk of the Suffolk County Legislature.
B. 
Simultaneously therewith, the applicant shall file an additional copy of said petition with the Legislative Budget Review Office.
[Amended 9-15-2011 by L.L. No. 49-2011]
C. 
All such petitions shall be supported by a certified audited financial statement for each of the last two fiscal years and shall include:
(1) 
A balance sheet including net worth and retained earnings.
(2) 
Profit and loss statements, stating all income and expenses.
(3) 
A statement of changes in financial position.
D. 
The report of the certified or licensed public accountant shall include a statement that the examination was made in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and that the financial statements submitted by the applicant are in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles applied on a consistent basis. This report shall contain a representation and documentary evidence that the accountant or accounting firm has undergone a peer/quality review pursuant to the procedures of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants within the past five years.
[Amended 9-22-1994 by L.L. No. 17-1994]
E. 
Each applicant shall maintain adequate accounting records to permit the preparation of the required audited financial statements. Such financial accounting records shall include, but not be limited to, the following records and procedures:
(1) 
Inventory controls.
(2) 
Passenger fare reconciliation forms.
(3) 
Monthly cash receipts journal.
(4) 
Periodic summary sales reports.
F. 
Financial accounting procedures shall be designed to ensure the reliability and integrity of the accounting records.
(1) 
A "disclaimer of opinion" or an "adverse opinion" by the certified or licensed public accountant shall not be acceptable to the Legislature for purposes of acting on the merits of the petition.
(2) 
A "qualified opinion" may be acceptable to the Legislature, depending on the reason for and significance of those factors leading to this opinion.
(3) 
An "unqualified opinion" will be acceptable to the Legislature, but shall not be conclusive evidence of the adequacy of the petition for the purpose of granting the relief requested.
G. 
Upon receipt of a petition for the establishment, alteration, reduction, change or modification of a ferry service rate, the Legislative Budget Review Office is hereby authorized to commence its review of the petition and to issue a report concerning said petition. The Legislative Budget Review Office is hereby authorized to inspect and examine any and all financial accounting records, accounts, books, contracts, documents, papers and procedures connected with the rate-setting process. The Suffolk County Legislature shall not hold a public hearing upon a petition which contains a request for the establishment, alteration, modification or change of a ferry service rate until 15 calendar days following the filing of the report and recommendation of the Legislative Budget Review Office with the Clerk of the Legislature. The report and recommendation shall be filed with the Clerk of the Legislature within 45 days after the petition and supporting financial statements have been filed with the Clerk of the Suffolk County Legislature and received by the Legislative Budget Review Office.
[Amended 9-15-2011 by L.L. No. 49-2011]
H. 
The Legislative Budget Review Office, in carrying out its obligation under this section, may make inquiry into any financial transactions between any subsidiary, affiliate or parent firm or corporation of the petitioner. Such financial information shall be deemed privileged information and shall not be disclosed to the public except by reference as to the propriety of any particular transactions.
[Amended 9-15-2011 by L.L. No. 49-2011]
I. 
Those ferry companies which elect to exercise the right to alter fares by applying the transportation component of the consumer price index for all urban consumers—New York and northeastern New Jersey must so notify the Clerk of the County Legislature in writing at least 60 days prior to the actual utilization of such index or of such intention to use the index.
[Added 4-8-1986 by L.L. No. 10-1986]

§ 455-4 Availability of filed information.

A. 
Upon written request from a person, firm, organization, corporation, municipality and/or governmental agency that information obtained under this chapter, other than privileged information, be made available, the Legislative Budget Review Office shall mail such documents to said person or entity. The report prepared under § 455-3G of this chapter shall be mailed simultaneously with the filing of this report to any person, firm, organization, corporation, municipality and/or governmental agency which has requested information under this section.
[Amended 9-15-2011 by L.L. No. 49-2011]
B. 
Failure to mail such petitions shall not constitute grounds to adjourn any scheduled public hearing unless it shall be determined by a vote of a majority of the total membership of the Legislature that such failure has resulted in unreasonable hardship to the parties involved.

§ 455-5 Hearing requirement.

[Added 12-7-2004 by L.L. No. 44-2004]
In the event that a sworn statement alleging a violation of § 455-2A of this chapter is filed in the office of the Clerk of the Legislature, then the Clerk of the Legislature shall set a date for a hearing on the alleged violation, which date shall be no more than 90 days from the date of filing and which date may be adjourned upon consent. A hearing shall be held before a panel consisting of the Clerk of the Legislature or his designee, the Director of Budget Review or his designee, and the Commissioner of Public Works or his designee. Upon completion of the hearing, the hearing panel shall make findings and a recommendation to the Legislature, which may adopt such findings and recommendation by procedural motion.

§ 455-6 Penalties for offenses.

[Amended 12-7-2004 by L.L. No. 44-2004]
A. 
A civil penalty in the amount of $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for any offense thereafter shall be imposed for any violation of § 455-2A of this chapter.
B. 
If the Suffolk County Legislature revokes a license or franchise under § 455-2D of this chapter, then it may also impose a civil fine not to exceed $1,500.

§ 455-7 Applicability.

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to any petition or application filed subsequent to the effective date of this chapter.