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FRANKLINVILLE -- A six-month moratorium on the construction of telecommunications towers is in effect in Franklinville as the result of action taken Tuesday by the Town Council.

The temporary ban is the second enacted by the town in three years and is intended to establish a basis for a future local law governing permit fees and providing for townwide land use controls over the structures.

"We did one in 1998, we had a local law, but for some reason it never got to the (secretary of state) to be filed," said Town Supervisor David S. Dickinson after the meeting.

Also, he said, the zoning ordinance now in effect does not regulate the towers. The moratorium has been resurrected and a proposed law will be aired at a future public hearing. Dickinson said he anticipates no objections from the Cattaraugus County Planning Board, which will be asked to issue an advisory opinion on the second proposal for a local law. He added that the Planning Board, after reviewing the 1998 local law that failed to be validated at the state level, voted to recommend its acceptance.

A public hearing date has not yet been set for the new law, which establishes a $1,500 permit fee.

In other business, the board discussed plans for work on the town's new fuel depot, with an estimated price tag of $50,000 to $70,000 upon completion May 1. It will be located on West Avenue adjacent to the town's salt storage facility and is being built to comply with federal environmental regulations.

Dickinson said Highway Superintendent William H. Weller will solicit bids from local contractors in the coming weeks for construction of a building. Leonard Densmore, a Machias masonry contractor, has been hired to build the foundation and a cement containment area for a new fuel tank the town already purchased for about $20,000, he said.

The new depot will be metered to allow fueling of village Public Works Department and Franklinville Fire District vehicles, a cooperative system that is already in place with the village for sand and road salt supplies. Officials believe that some cost savings will result due to the ability to purchase larger quantities of fuel, and that those savings will be passed on in invoices to the village and Fire District.

The board is expected to vote on building construction bids at March 13 meeting.

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