FULTON, NY – The Fulton Common Council heard public comment in three separate hearings for the proposed local law to amend city code sections: streets and sidewalks; brush, grass, and weeds; and property conservation.
The first matter in the streets and sidewalks section of the city code was in relation to snow removal, Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr. explained.
“This is something the council’s been working on,” he said. “We know that the plow goes by and they’re going to put snow in the right of way. But what we’re having problems with on a lot of the (main roads,) businesses are plowing their snow and rather than removing it, they’re piling it on the corners and in places where the sidewalks are clear, they’re making it impassable and they’re making it hard when you go out into the intersection, you can’t see.”
Additionally, he said, there have been problems with people plowing across the street and leaving the snow on someone else’s property.
Despite warnings from the DPW and local police, the instances have continued occurring, he said.
The resolution passed unanimously from all six councilmen.
The second public hearing to amend the portion of the city code entitled Brush, Grass, and Weeds was in relation to the right of way, specifically.
In current code, when at least 50% of a resident’s lawn grows over eight inches tall, they receive a notice to mow their lawn in a specific time frame. If the lawn is not mowed, the city will mow it and charge the bill to the resident’s taxes.
“What we’re doing is making sure the right of way is included in that. For years, people have said ‘no, that’s Fulton’s right of way. We’re not mowing it.’ No, it’s not. It’s the right of way and what a right of way is for, is so we can plow your snow. So you can have natural gas, so you can have water and sewer, it doesn’t mean we own it. We get to use it, it’s a public right of way. Doesn’t absolve you from the obligation you have to maintain it, so we just added that into the law,” Woodward explained.
County legislator, Frank Castiglia Jr. (D-Fulton) recommended that the city doesn’t wait for the eight inch length to take action against and instead approaches each neighborhood individually to ensure all yards in one neighborhood conform.
However, Woodward said there must be a measurement set forth in the law and the eight inch standard was taken from the NYS Real Property Conservation Law.
While the council had considered a six inch limit, which Castiglia recommended next, sixth ward councilor Larry Macner said that between the lack of DPW personnel and the strain on equipment availability with more than 150 acres of city grass to mow, six inches was not feasible.
The resolution passed unanimously by all six councilmen.
The third public hearing was simply formality, as it addressed the same change to a different section on the charter to ensure consistency which also passed unanimously.
Two more public hearings have been scheduled to gain public input in relation to amending city code entitled Water, and Water Connection Fee, which includes increases in fees in these areas, according to council president, David Ritchie.
Both public hearings will be help on Tuesday, May 2 in the Fulton Municipal Building located at 141 S. First St. following the public comment portion of the meeting beginning at 7 p.m.