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County delays emergency plan update ADVERTISEMENT

County delays emergency plan update

SCHUYLER COUNTY--In a packed legislative chambers Tuesday, Feb. 10, the Schuyler County Legislature agreed to table a resolution approving an update to the county's emergency plan. The motion was approved unanimously after being put forth by Chairman Dennis Fagan, which came after a public hearing session where many spoke about necessary revisions to the plan. The legislature plans to consider comments from the public and revisit the issue at its April meeting.
Those who spoke against approving the modified plan spoke to the revisions made to address hazardous material storage and transport within the county. While the general consensus was an update was needed, there are still things missing in the plan making it incomplete.
Ann Barford asked for another draft of the safety plan, as the updates failed to include specifics on which county agencies will be executing risk mitigation practices and does not describe the process residents and first responders should take in the event of an emergency. She said the legislature needs to "constantly improve the process so we don't have an incident," adding there needs to be "relentless efforts to eliminate every single problem before it occurs."
Dix resident Diane Edwards said she applauds the efforts of the legislators, but added more work needs to be done.
"It is a good start, but there are gaps," Edwards said.
Legislator Michael Lausell, who has been pushing for the legislature to thoroughly review and update the emergency plan in recent months, commended the legislature's decision, adding there is still much work left to be done on the plan before approved.
Fagan said county Emergency Services Coordinator Bill Kennedy and the legislators will continue to revise and work on updating the plan, while encouraging members of the public to contact the legislators with any additional comments or concerns.
In other business:
• The Schuyler County Legislature approved a resolution supporting the repeal of the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act during the meeting.
"Requiring law-abiding gun owners to verify ownership of certain types of firearms every five years, in addition to registering them on permits, which now also must be renewed every five years, does not increase the safety of the public and is unnecessarily burdensome to the residents of New York State," according to the resolution. "[...] This legislation effectively treats countless New York State law abiding gun owners as criminals."
Les Wilson of the Schuyler County Shooters Committee on Political Education (SCOPE), spoke in support of the resolution, saying it is not only a violation of the rights for law abiding citizens, but also fails to make residents safer.

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