County Executive Debbie Preston, Legislators John Black & Dan J. Reynolds Call On State To Waive Asbestos Removal Fees

Broome County Executive Debbie Preston and Legislators John Black (R-Endwell) and Dan J. Reynolds (R-Vestal) have called on the New York State Department of Labor to waive asbestos removal fees for structures obtained through the flood buyout program.

While Article 30 of New York State Labor Law does not currently allow the State Department of Labor to waive asbestos removal fees, Preston, Black and Reynolds are also calling on the State Legislature and Governor to amend it to allow the DOL to waive these fees.

Introductory Resolution 4 to make this change was approved by the County Legislature at tonight’s session.

With several hundred affected properties in Broome County, the savings to municipalities would amount to nearly $1 million. Asbestos removal permit fees can be up to $4,000 per structure.

“Our municipalities are suffering; having to incur these fees would be a blow to our already hurting Towns and Villages,” said Preston. “I urge the State to waive these fees and bring some much needed relief to Broome County.”

"The Town of Union was hit particularly hard by the floods last September," said Legislator John Black, Chair of the County Legislature's Economic & Rural Development and Planning Committee. "Lifting the asbestos removal fees will help municipalities throughout Broome County afford the cost of flood buyouts. Without accomplishing these buyouts, residents and emergency personnel in flood prone areas will still face danger from future flooding."

"We need help from our State representatives to waive the government fees that make flood buyouts more difficult," said Legislator Dan J. Reynolds. "No one wants to see a State Agency profiting from the flood recovery efforts of our local municipalities. Waiving this fee will help local our local municipalities like Vestal provide hope to families financially struggling from the flood, and it's the right thing to do."

The fees are the result of an unanticipated disaster, and therefore waiving these fees would not negatively impact the State’s finances.

In February the Town of Union passed a similar resolution and the New York State Association of Towns put the issue on the group’s 2012 legislative agenda.
03/16/2012 - 8:09am