Town of Lansing, NY
Tompkins County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Lansing 9-15-2004 by L.L. No. 6-2004. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board of the Town of Lansing, under and by virtue of and pursuant to the authority granted by the New York Municipal Home Rule Law, the Town Law, and the Highway Law, does hereby enact this Local Law No. 6 of 2004.
This chapter is hereby to be known as Local Law No. 6 of 2004 (herein "chapter"), entitled the "Town of Lansing Prior Notice Law."
This chapter provides for the written notification of defects and obstructions on and to certain Town property in the Town of Lansing, and requires that the Town of Lansing be on notice of certain defects or obstructions before the Town of Lansing may be required to answer in liability for such defects or obstructions, thereby protecting the ability of the Town of Lansing to preserve and protect public money with which it is entrusted, and to enable the Town to undertake regular, scheduled, or special maintenance, construction and repair without exposure to unnecessary liabilities.
The following words and phrases shall have the following meanings under this chapter:
DEFECTIVE
Having any defect, or being out of repair, unsafe, dangerous or obstructed.
TOWN
The Town of Lansing, its employees, agents, hired contractors, Supervisor, Deputy Supervisor, clerks, elected officials, all committees, departments and Superintendents, and each, any, and all improvement districts.
TOWN STRUCTURE OR DEVICE
Any highway, road, street, bridge, culvert, ditch, highway marking, sign, sidewalk, right-of-way (including all easements), crosswalk, path, sewer, sewer appurtenance, manhole, water line, water tower, water tank, pump house, water system appurtenance, stormwater drainage device or appurtenance, pond, retention basin, fence, gate, park, park facility, playground, playground equipment, lighthouse, marina, boat dock, boat launch, beach, or swimming area, or other object owned, built, or maintained by the Town.
No civil action shall be maintained against the Town for damages or injuries to person or property (or any rights therein) sustained by reason of any defective Town structure or device unless written notice of such defective Town structure or device was actually given to the Town Clerk or Town Superintendent of Highways, and there was a failure or neglect within a reasonable time after the giving of such notice to repair or remove the defective Town structure or device complained of, or, in the absence of such notice, unless such defective Town structure or device existed for so long a period that the same should have been discovered and remedied in the exercise of reasonable care and diligence; but no such action shall be maintained for damages or injuries to person or property (or any rights therein) sustained solely in consequence of the existence of snow or ice upon any Town structure or device unless written notice thereof, specifying the particular place, was actually given to the Town Clerk or Town Superintendent of Highways and there was a failure or neglect to cause such snow or ice to be removed, or to make the place otherwise reasonably safe within a reasonable time after the receipt of such notice.
Each Town Department Supervisor or Superintendent shall transmit, in writing, to the Town Clerk within 10 days after the receipt thereof all written notices received by the Department Supervisor or Superintendent.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
The Town Clerk shall keep an indexed record, in a separate book, of all written notices which the Town Clerk receives of the existence of a defective Town structure or device, which record shall state the date of receipt of the notice, the nature and location of the condition stated to exist, and the name and address of the person from whom the notice is received. All such written notices shall be indexed according to the location of the alleged defective Town structure or device, or the location of accumulated snow or ice. The record of each notice shall be preserved for a period of five years after the date it is received.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall:
A. 
Be held to repeal, modify, or waive any existing requirement or statute of limitations which is or may be applicable to any cause of action brought by any person (or entity) against the Town, but, on the contrary, shall be held to be additional requirements applicable to the filing, imposition, assertion, or maintenance of any such action;
B. 
Be held to modify any existing rule or law relative to any question of the Town's negligence;
C. 
Impose any greater duty or obligation upon the Town than the duties and obligations stated herein;
D. 
Modify or displace any similar or other notice or procedure required by law, whether as a condition precedent to the validity of, or the filing of, any claim.
If any clause, sentence, phrase, paragraph, or any other part of this chapter is, for any reason, finally adjudged or held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, such judgment or holding shall not act to affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder of this chapter, which shall remain in force and effect, but shall be confined in its operation and effect to the clause, sentence, phrase, paragraph or any other part of this chapter that is directly involved in the action or controversy in which such judgment or holding shall have been rendered.