Friday, October 16, 2009

Three towns face lawsuits from timber company

One of the nation's largest timber companies is suing three local towns.

Plum Creek Timberland, which owns thousands of acres of forestland in Big Flats, Rome and Saratoga, is fighting what it calls an unfair tax.

None of the communities provided Plum Creek property with fire protection during the years they charged fees for the service, the company said in the three lawsuits. The company also maintains that the state Department of Natural Resources, not the towns, is responsible for fire protection on forestland.

Big Flats Chairman Todd Peterson disagrees.

"That's a total lie by Plum Creek," he said. "It's very clear in state statutes that, if there's a fire in your town, you have to respond."


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