[Adopted 4-9-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
The Town Board of the Town of Bath has determined that it is in the best interest of taxpayers and the general public to assign responsibility for the repair of damage to Town roads attributable to high-intensity use and, where necessary, for the improvement of Town roads to a standard appropriate for high-intensity use prior to the commencement of any activity, to those responsible for the damage rather than to all Town taxpayers. The purpose of this article is to maintain the safety and general welfare of Town residents by regulating heavy uses of Town roads that have the potential to adversely affect such roads. Well-maintained roads are important to the safety and economic well-being of the Town and its residents. Endeavors such as construction, timber harvesting, mining, natural gas drilling, and wind farms are also of economic interest. This article is not intended to regulate such businesses; the intent is to protect the public roads from damage.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A commercial bond to ensure that the condition of the Town roads is not adversely impacted by high-frequency, high-impact truck traffic. The Town may accept an equivalent financial guarantee in lieu of bond.
- BOND RELEASE
- A bond release given by the Town Highway Superintendent based on satisfactory road conditions at completion of the high-frequency, high-impact truck traffic.
- HIGH-FREQUENCY, HIGH-IMPACT TRUCK TRAFFIC
- Traffic to and from a project site that generates more than 500 truck trips. For purposes of this article, a truck trip is a trip to or from the project site involving a truck with a gross weight of 20 or more tons (truck and load combined). A single truck makes two truck trips if it meets the weight limit traveling to the project site and meets the weight limit traveling from the project site.
- The person responsible under this article to obtain a permit regardless of whether the person in fact obtains a permit. The permittee is the person responsible for the project generating the truck traffic. In any instance in which another permit is required, such as a building, drilling, or mining permit, any person who obtained any such permit or was required to obtain such other permit shall be deemed the permittee for purposes of this article. In the event that no other permit is required, the owner of any property on which the activity is taking place shall be deemed the permittee for purposes of this article.
- Any individual, public or private corporation, political subdivision, government agency, municipality, industry, copartnership, association, firm, trust, estate or any other legal entity whatsoever.
- TEMPORARY PROJECT
- Any nonpermanent activity that generates high-frequency, high-impact truck traffic on Town roads, whether or not the project itself is located in the Town.
Projects include, but are not limited to, construction projects, mining, drilling activities and wind farms. With regard to projects that require another permit, such as a building, drilling, or mining permit, all activities covered by that other permit are considered part of the temporary project for purposes of this article.
Agricultural operations, as defined by New York State's Agricultural Districts Law, and the movement of agricultural products are excluded. Also excluded are school buses, law enforcement vehicles, fire-fighting vehicles, military vehicles, and municipal vehicles engaging in road work on behalf of municipalities.
Editor's Note: See Article 25-AA of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law.
The Town determines that high-frequency, high-impact truck traffic associated with temporary projects would materially injure Town roads.
Upon determination by the Town Highway Superintendent that a temporary project may generate high-frequency truck traffic, the Town Highway Superintendent shall erect signs on the appropriate sections of Town highways setting forth the notice that such vehicles are excluded, and the notice shall also be published in the official newspaper for the Town of Bath.
Any permittee may apply to the Town Highway Department for a permit providing for an appropriate exemption for the vehicles serving the temporary project. Such permit shall be granted, upon appropriate terms and conditions, if the vehicles are performing essential local pickup or delivery. For purposes of this article, pickup and delivery associated with New-York-State-permitted mining or gas drilling operations shall be deemed essential local pickup or delivery.
Any such permit shall designate the route(s) to be traversed and contain other reasonable restrictions or conditions deemed necessary by the Town Highway Superintendent. The conditions may include, but not be limited to, requiring the permittee to make road improvements to ensure that the roads have the strength and capacity to handle the anticipated traffic. The permit shall be carried on all vehicles serving the project and shall be open to inspection by any peace officer acting pursuant to his or her special duties, or police officer. Such permit shall be for the duration of the temporary project.
In order to obtain a permit, the permittee must submit a permit application to the Town. Highway Department, which shall include all information required by the Town Highway Superintendent, including, but not limited to, vehicle identification and owners/operators, vehicle weights, load weights, materials carried, route(s) to be followed from Town Highway to site, duration of activity (beginning date and end date), frequency of trips and times of operation. The applicant shall pay a permit fee to be established by the Town Board, but in no event shall the fee be less than $50.
The Town Highway Superintendent may require the permittee to submit documentation (including, but not limited to, photographs and videos) of the condition of the roads, shoulders and all structures (culverts, bridges, etc.) that will be traversed by the permitted traffic as a condition of the permit.
In addition to the restrictions on routes and other reasonable restrictions, the Town Highway Superintendent will decide if the scope of work is such that a bond is required and the amount of any such bond. The determination of the need and amount of any bond shall be based on a determination of potential damage to Town roads based on the truck route(s), weight of the vehicles, frequency of travel, seasonal conditions and the type category (classification) of the roads on the approved route(s).
A permittee aggrieved by a determination of the Town Highway Superintendent regarding the need for or conditions of a permit may, within 10 days of the determination, appeal to the Town Board. No action inconsistent with the determination of the Town Highway Superintendent shall take place pending the determination of the Town Board.
The permittee shall be responsible for assuring that the high-frequency, high-impact truck traffic does not prevent any impacted Town road from remaining in safe and usable condition for all legal uses of the road throughout the duration of the temporary project.
Upon completion of the high-frequency, high-impact truck traffic project, the permittee will apply to the Town Highway Superintendent for a bond release. Upon inspection of the traveled roads, as necessary, the Town Highway Superintendent may approve the release of the bond. If the release is not approved, the Town Highway Superintendent will specifically document the tasks that must be accomplished in order for the bond to be released, which may include, but not be limited to, the payment of money for the repair to damaged roads. The permittee must remedy the specified problems before the bond may be released.
If the permittee does not comply with this article and all of the terms and conditions of the permit and operate within the parameters specified on the permit, the permit may be revoked at the discretion of the Town Highway Superintendent.
In the event that high-frequency, high-impact truck traffic uses any Town roads without the required valid permit, the Town Highway Superintendent, and any law enforcement officer or code enforcement officer, has the authority to deny access to the roads and, in cases where the Town permit was required, to shut down the project. This relief is in addition to any and all damages and penalties.
The permittee will be responsible for the repair of any damages that occur to any Town road when a project proceeds with or without a proper permit, as well as for all fines and penalties specified in this article.
In lieu of obtaining a permit, any person who may be responsible for obtaining a permit may enter into a road use agreement with the Town, although the Town has no obligation to enter into a road use agreement. In such case, the requirements shall be governed by the agreement rather than by permit conditions.
The Town Highway Superintendent, in consultation with the Town Attorney, shall enforce the provisions of this article and all rules, regulations and designations made pursuant thereto. Such enforcement shall include, but not be limited to, legal or equitable proceedings, including, without limitation, an action for specific performance brought in the name of the Town.
Any person who violates this article shall be guilty of a violation and subject to a fine of not more than $500 and/or imprisonment for not more than 15 days. Each and every act committed that is prohibited by this article shall constitute a separate violation. Each time a vehicle travels on a Town road without a permit, as required by this article, shall constitute a separate violation. Violations may be prosecuted by the Town Attorney or any other person with authority to prosecute violations within the Town.
Upon failure of any permittee to comply with the requirements of this article, the permit shall be subject to suspension or revocation, or to the imposition of conditions.