Farmer says, It’s not heavy, it’s my delivery

NIVERVILLE -Weight restrictions on Bishop Nelson Road, where signs limit use to vehicles weighing less than 5 tons, was the topic of discussion between the Town Board and the town attorney at the board’s regular meeting on December 10.

Ken Keller, of Holly Rock Farms in the town, says he has had to reroute his milk delivery trucks at a cost of $50 a day since late November, when he was asked to stop using the road. He declined to say who made the request.

The town attorney, Andy Howard, cited town code, which established trucking routes. He said that in 2006 the weight limit was lowered on Bishop Nelson Road but the regulations exempted trucks and trailers using the road for deliveries and “every facet of farming.”

But Mr. Keller said he was asked not to allow milk delivery trucks on the road and that law enforcement officials, whom he also declined to name, told him that the signs, installed by the town, are the problem.

“If they took the signs down, it would clear up the issue,” he said after the meeting.

Mr. Keller said he’d called the state Department of Transportation, where officials told him that signs like that are generally only put up near bridges or because of erosion on a street during spring or winter.

“I don’t want to hurt our agricultural people,” said board member Pasty Leader, referring to the law. Mr. Howard stressed that farm work was exempt and that the law “specifically recognized deliveries.” As for why Bishop Nelson Road was singled out in 2006, Mr. Howard said, “It normally means there was a concern.”

Mr. Keller suggested the board look at the minutes of the meetings from 2006 when the code was changed to see what the reason was. He told the board his trucks now have to go five miles out of the way to deliver to his farm. “It will cost our farm $18,000 a year,” he said of the rerouting.

This week the board also authorized a letter to the DOT asking the state agency to reduce the speed limit on Route 9 north of the traffic circle to the county line. When board members asked what the letter proposed the new speed limit should be, Supervisor Pat Grattan said, “Just reduced.”

The speed limit on that section of the road is now 55 mph. Mr. Grattan said there have been many complaints about the speed along that stretch of Route 9, a commuter route to Albany.

Also the meeting the board:

*Heard from Mr. Grattan that the closing on the town and Village of Valatie’s purchase of the Martin H. Glynn School in the village has been postponed two weeks, pending a survey. The closing was initially schedule for last Friday

*Approved a compost grinding bid of $18,749 for town yard waste

*Approved a motion to purchase a new John Deere loader at a cost not to exceed $154,000

*Honored John Whitbeck with a Certificate of Appreciation for 40 years of service to the town Highway Department

*Scheduled a year end meeting for Thursday December 27 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall in Niverville.

The next regular Town Board meeting will be Monday January 14 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

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