Plattekill adopts towing law

Posted 5/31/22

Nearly 10 months in the making, the Town of Plattekill adopted a towing law at its May 18 meeting.

Following Wednesday’s hour-long public hearing that was dominated by questions and …

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Plattekill adopts towing law


Nearly 10 months in the making, the Town of Plattekill adopted a towing law at its May 18 meeting.

Following Wednesday’s hour-long public hearing that was dominated by questions and suggested changes to the proposed law by former Supervisor Judy Mayle, the Town Board voted 4-0 to close the public hearing. Then the board unanimously approved the first towing ordinance in the town’s history without comment.

Following the meeting, Supervisor Jennifer Salemo said she was happy to have the new ordinance on the books.

“I think it is so necessary we have one,” Salemo said. “Without one in place from talking with our police department, there were times when there were calls made (to towing companies) and they didn’t show up.”

The town has previously operated without a towing law. Whenever a vehicle had to be towed within the Town of Plattekill, the towing was rotated between town operators Modena Collision and Potter’s Collision and Towing.

However, during the July 21, 2021 meeting, Town Supervisor Joseph Croce, who chose not to run for re-election at the end of the year, said the town needed to adopt a towing law after it had received requests from towing companies outside the Town of Plattekill who wanted to be included in the rotation.

At the direction of the board last summer, Police Chief Joseph Ryan crafted a towing law that determined that there would be four towing companies in the rotation. Ryan estimated that it wouldn’t make sense to have more than four towing companies in the rotation since only about 50 and 60 vehicles a year are towed in the town.

The board held its first public hearing on the proposed law last December. Mayle made a number of suggestions at the hearing and adoption of the ordinance was delayed until Town Attorney Paul Kellar reviewed the document.

After the towing law was adopted, attorney Christopher Coleman, who represents two Highland towing companies, seemed pleased with the outcome.
“I think it’s a good tow law,” Coleman said. “I’m confident the board is going to enforce it in a fair and equitable manner. I think it’ll be a positive thing for the town.”

Coleman represents Highland-based Autos by Joseph and Nicky D’s Towing and Recovery, who Coleman said plan to file applications to be on the towing list.
“They’re (town officials) going to start fresh and look at all applicants with a clean slate,” Coleman said.

Ryan said the towing ordinance was long overdue.

“We need guidelines to follow,” he said. “We just can’t be flying by the seat of our pants. We can’t be doing this stuff without having a law to protect the town, protect the citizens and the businesses that will be doing the towing.”

The next step will be for Ryan to review applications from towing companies and inspect the companies’ properties. He expects it’ll be 30 to 60 days after the applications are posted before he compiles a list and submits it to the Town Board.

In other news, Recreation Director Kim Way reported that she had received only 24 signups for the town’s summer camp which is scheduled to start in late June.
Way said in past years the town would have received about 75 to 80 applications by this time. The maximum number of campers allowed is 100.

Although registration is open until June 13, the board decided it would make a decision on whether or not to hold the camp at its June 1 meeting.

“My gut feeling without enough campers is that we’re going to not have it,” Salemo said. “Obviously it’s going to cost taxpayers a lot of money to make it happen. It’s unfortunate because it’s been two years without a camp due to COVID.”

The board voted 4-0 to approve the purchase of a 2023 International HV-507 Dump Truck with Viking Cives plows and dump body, and a Smith nine-yard material spreader from Arkel Motors requested by Town Highway Superintendent Robert Wager. The total price is expected to be $233,000, which includes $1,907 for truck lettering and incidental safety equipment.

The board also voted 4-0 to oppose a ban on wood burning in New York proposed by the Climate Action Council.

“A ban on wood burning would have a major impact on many Town of Plattekill households who rely on wood burning stoves for cooking, and cost-effective energy for heat and hot water,” the adopted resolution noted.

The board also voted 4-0 against a request from some town residents to make Plattekill a Climate Smart Community.

Councilman Dean DePew Sr. said after consulting with a state official that he determined that the Town of Plattekill would be eligible for grants to protect the environment without making a commitment as a Climate Smart Community.

“When I weighed it all out and I looked at the pros and cons, I’m going to make a motion that we do not enter in any kind of agreement with Plattekill Climate Smart,” DePew said. “Wish them well and we do our due diligence to be good stewards of the land.”