Canton town adopts new policy for culvert work on private land
Saturday, June 15, 2019 - 6:09 pm

By ADAM ATKINSON

North Country This Week

CANTON – The town board has adopted a policy establishing how it handles work on culverts and driveways on private land which connect to town roads.

The approval at the town board meeting Wednesday, June 12, follows discussion at meetings over the last several weeks between board members, Highway Superintendent Terry Billings and a private resident who was critical of the town over how his private culvert installation was handled.

The resident, Mike McCormick, eventually contracted to have the work done privately and billed the town, which the board agreed to pay.

The discussion spurred the board to adopt as policy what has been the normal process for some time.

Under the policy, landowners will purchase the culvert pipe and material, and town highway employees will install it.

“It’s basically been what we’ve been doing and now we are putting it in stone so to speak,” said Town Councilman Bob Washo, a member of the board’s highway committee.

The board decided to approve the policy, but wait to codify it until the town could schedule a public hearing back to back with another hearing for a separate local law. The delay would also allow attorney Dan Ramsey of Pease and Gustafson, LLP, time to review a permit process for landowners under the new culvert installation guidelines.

“The situation we’ve had (at the McCormick residence) is an anomaly. Very, very rarely do people want to put their own in,” Washo said. “So there is nobody knocking on the door to do it. So I think we are all in agreement, Terry’s in agreement, let’s just get the policy done and the other parts will fall into place as we do it, without going out of our way to expedite it.”

“With the adoption of the (Townwide Comprehensive Plan), one of the things we are going to have to do is to amend our coding for both town and village to match the comp plan,” said Town Councilman Jimmy Smith, also a highway committee member. “So we can include it right into that.”

The policy itself will be posted on the town website, cantonny.gov, at a future date.