The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

February 18, 2013

Yates looks to undo erosion law

Medina Journal-Register — YATES — Erosion of Lake Ontario’s shoreline is not going away, but one municipality’s oversight of efforts to prevent land loss is set to disappear.

The Town of Yates will hold a public hearing at the town board’s March 14 meeting on a repeal of a decades-old local law which set a permitting process for rip-raps, seawalls and stabilization methods.

The requirements in town’s existing permit process, established in the 1980s, have been overtaken by requirements for mandated New York State Department of Environmental Conservation approval. Approval is also needed from the Army Corps of Engineers.

“The local law worked fine, but there’s more environmental review now,” Councilman Stephen Freeman said. “We can write up the review and if they don’t like it they start over.”

Freeman said that has caused duplication of the work that residents have to do to shore up consistently shrinking properties. 

“You can lose a foot each year,” Freeman, who lives near lake, explained.

The town’s planned local law repeal would remove one step in the process, as residents could go directly to the DEC for a permit. That could prove beneficial if lakeshore property owners need to act fast in response to proposed lake management policies.

“If (the International Joint Commission’s) Plan Bv7 goes into effect, everyone on the lake is in trouble, and we’d be caught in the middle of it,” Freeman noted.

The town board met Thursday and approved a refinancing of five municipal bonds, a move that Supervisor John Belson said would drop the interest rate for the $1.8 million in bonds by a percentage point.

Belson said those bonds, issued between 1997 and 2003 for municipal infrastructure projects, are all set to run for another 20 to 30 years.

By paying off those bonds and borrowing at a reduced rate, as Hodgson Russ have recommended, the town is set to save about $110,000 this year.

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