FONDA - Village Mayor Bill Peeler is lobbying to keep two railroad crossings in the village open.
CSX Railroad wants the state to allow CSX?to permanently close the crossings.
At Monday's village board meeting, Peeler read aloud a letter he sent to Judge Robert A. Rybak, who is mediating the issue of whether to close the crossings.
The judge will make a recommendation regarding the crossings and present findings to the state Department of Transportation, which will make the final decision.
In the letter, Peeler listed concerns about closing the crossings.
The letter was sent in relation to a suggestion from the DOT to keep Broadway open to southbound traffic and closing the Center Street crossing altogether.
"In short, the village of Fonda maintains that a need for closure of either [the] Center Street or Broadway crossing is not found in the evidence brought forth by CSX or New York State DOT," Peeler said.
Peeler says the village could not handle the financial hardships from closing the crossings. Officials say the closings would negatively affect local businesses, cause traffic congestion and present problems for emergency vehicles.
CSX claims the crossings are dangerous and few vehicles use them.
"The application for these closures has, not in one instance, demonstrated recognition or consideration for the full health and safety ... of our residents and visitors, the negative economic impact these closures would bring to the village, town and county governments, and most certainly the negative impact on the quality of life for the residents within the area," Peeler said.
Peeler said CSX has failed to maintain the crossings, showing photos of broken asphalt, gaps between the crosswalks and the rails, as well as debris.
CSX could not be reached for comment.
Don Way, former Fonda fire chief, has stated he has tried to contact Gov. Andrew Cuomo through his aide in the hopes of bringing the governor into the situation.
The town of Mohawk and the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors have stated their opposition to closing the crossings.
James Hoffman, a member of the Mohawk Town Board, said town officials should stress closing the crossings would be an inconvenience to the residents of Montgomery County.
Arthur Cleveland can be reached at Montco@leaderherald.com