HANOVER - The discussion on keeping cattle penned up was raised once again in Hanover.
The matter was proposed by Councilman Kenneth Cross who received a complaint from a resident concerning cattle repeatedly spotted in the roadway on King Road.
Town Attorney Jeffrey Passafaro explained New York state is considered a free-rein state, so there are no state laws to help with the problem.
This matter was brought to the town board before but there was not enough support to pass a law.
Councilman Wayne Ashley, a former sheriff's deputy, looked into the problem of cattle running loose before and said the only town in Chautauqua County with a fencing law is North Harmony. He previously brought a copy of North Harmony's law to the board but said the confiscation clause was the nail in the coffin for support of its passage in Hanover.
He explained in North Harmony there is a designated person with a trailer who picks up the animal in the case of it running loose and takes it to a cattle impound paddock.
Cross said he supports bringing the matter before the board once again.
"If we are going to develop this town commercially and there are cattle running around, it makes no sense. I'm in the cattle business and we spend a lot of money to keep the animals fenced in and some fly-by-nighter can have cattle running around in the road endangering our residents. It's not the '30s or '40s anymore," he said.
Planning Board Member Joan Berner asked if a fencing law would be a financial burden on residents.
"It is not as expensive as the legal fees if someone is killed," Cross responded. "If you have animals they will get out sometimes, but this is a repeated thing."
Ashley said he would bring the North Harmony fencing law to the board for review and Supervisor Todd Johnson said he would notify the Planning Board of the town board's interest in the matter.
The next town board meeting will be held Nov. 26. The Planning Board will meet Nov. 19.
In other business:
Ashley said there has been no progress on the veterans memorial slated for the town hall, but he is still in contact with the engineer doing the design for free.
Two fishermen approached the board to ask for a meeting and the board's support in seeking outside funding to dredge Cattaraugus Creek and Sunset Bay. They said the boat launches in Sunset Bay are unusable because there is only two feet of water, saying they cannot take their boats out of the water and some have had $1,000s in damage done to their boats due to the low levels. Legislator George Borrello said he would like to attend the meeting with the fishermen and town officials because the Lake Erie Management Agency was discussing dredging Sunset Bay, Dun-kirk Harbor and Barcelona Harbor at once to get the attention of funding agencies with a larger project. A meeting time was not set but will be scheduled after the Thanksgiving holiday.