Nicole A. Elliott Staff writer

TOWN OF WESTERN — Residents turned out to Monday’s town board meeting to express their discontent about the proposal to close seasonal Cady Road.

Some complained they would lose their shortcut to Rome while others were concerned about emergency vehicle response times.

Supervisor Robin Davis and the four-member board decided to table their decision so they could research issues. Western Fire Chief Michael Anania said he was informed of the issues surrounding Cady Road and promised to contact West Leyden and Boonville chiefs to see how closing the road may affect response times for Town of Ava residents. Cady Road is already closed during the winter months. Anania said the last time his department utilized the road was a couple years ago for a brush fire.

Anania said the local fire departments can look at trading off territories so residents are not impacted by the closure. It’s also possible for the town to contract with another fire department and pay a fee for them to maintain coverage, the chief explained. If there was a motor vehicle accident in Ava, Boonville or West Leyden, then emergency vehicles would not have direct access to Route 46 to take victims to the hospital, and they may need to take a longer alternate route if Cady Road was closed.

As far as impacting Western Fire Department, Anania said the only way the road closure may affect response times is if they were called in for mutual aid for a fire in West Leyden or if someone got lost in the woods off Cady Road. "If the road isn’t properly maintained or is impassable, then we won’t use it anyway," Anania said.

West Leyden Chief Douglas Whitmore said there are about three properties that lie within the Town of Ava at the end of Cady Road, but that his department contracts with Boonville.
The town board is hoping to make a final decision on the closure by the June town board meeting. Supervisor Davis could not be reached for comment.