LITTLE VALLEY – A week after a room full of secondhand merchants and some of their customers complained about the effects of a local law on the resale of merchandise, Cattaraugus County legislators have set the date and time for a public hearing on the possible repeal of what may be considered flaws in the law.
Cattaraugus County passed the secondhand dealer law more than a year ago and amended it in recent months to strengthen it. The law was meant to prevent the sale of items that were taken during burglaries, according to its author, Legislator William J. Aiello. But the language established circumstances that dealers claim make it overbearing and difficult to operate.
Citing not being informed of a previous public hearing on the local law, owners of antique and consignment shops from around the county and nearby Springville in Erie County said they were not given a chance to voice their concerns to the full Legislature.
Those people had a chance to speak last week at a hearing held by the Legislature’s Public Safety Committee.
“This is a case of the public not coming out to the public hearing to tell us how they feel,” Aiello said. “They said they were not informed. The law was in place for over a year, and then we made a change. I think they now see the importance of the hearing and will come out next meeting in similar size as what we saw here at the committee meeting.”
In defense of the merchants, Legislator William E. Sprague said they have a valid case.
The new hearing is set for 3:01 p.m. April 10 in the Legislative Chamber of the Cattaraugus County Building,, Little Valley.