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Rye City Manager Highlights 2012 Law Changes

RYE, N.Y. - With every new year there is change, and 2012 in Rye is no different. With the first week of the new year in the books, The Daily Rye was able to catch up with Rye City Manager Scott Pickup to discuss some of the major law changes the city will experience in 2012.

"The two big ones are the plastic bag ordinance and the changes to the blasting law," Pickup said Monday.

The ordinance, which was passed in early December, prohibits the distribution of disposable plastic bags at the point of sale by all Rye retailers . The ordinance will go into effect May 7 of this year.

"It's really more of an awareness campaign at this point," Pickup said. "The city isn't going to be aggressive in issuing citations, but we need to increase awareness to make sure that vendors comply."

According to Pickup, the other major change will be in regard to the blasting laws. The changes are coming after recent complaints by citizens regarding dynamite blasting of rock within the city.

"It's good news, bad news," Pickup said. "The good news is that people are building again, but the bad news is it's bothering the citizens. The fact that we're back to dealing with issues we had before the recession shows the economy is bouncing back."

Since Rye has a tremendous amount of rock, anytime a project is undertaken there is a good chance rock removal will be part of the equation, he said. According to Pickup, the two ways to remove the rock are chipping it or blasting it, both of which can impact neighbors.

"Since Rye is within a small area, the neighbors notice," Pickup said. "Especially when blasts issue shockwaves or rock showers neighborhoods, people get upset."

Pickup said he and the City Council are aware of the inconvenience blasting causes residents and are searching for ways to update the current laws.

Pickup, like Mayor Doug French, also acknowledged the City Council's desire to sustain capital projects in 2012 despite the implementation of the 2 percent property tax cap, which limits the government's funding. According to Pickup, the city will seek funds through bonds, most of which will likely be voted on in the fall.

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