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West Carthage urges municipalities to seek county help with urbanized area designation

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WEST CARTHAGE — Faced with the challenges presented by the U.S. Census Bureau’s designation of the Watertown urbanized area, village Mayor Scott M. Burto is asking small municipalities to band together.

During Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting, the mayor suggested he send a letter to municipalities that will be affected by the designation, urging them to “collectively ask the county to add a storm water engineer to help.”

As a result of the designation, municipalities will be mandated to develop a storm water management program.

“The storm water plan will be a huge expense (for municipalities) from Watertown to here,” Mayor Burto said.

He said the plan not only would be for new construction but would include monitoring and review of existing permits as well as enforcement by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

“Basically anything DEC already does,” Mayor Burto said. “EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) will audit and fine. There is no challenging it — no changing it.”

Kathleen M. Amyot, the River Area Council of Governments circuit rider, said that a municipality can opt out of the designation only if it has a population of less than 1,000.

“It is very complex. It’s all population driven,” she said.

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