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Norwood trucker wins weight limit case

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NORWOOD — A judge has ruled that Norwood truckers will be able to keep using village roads despite a posted weight limit, at least for now.

G. Michael Knowlton was ticketed in January for driving his heavy salt trucks on village roads despite a posted 8-ton limit.

The case went to trial in Canton Town Court on May 16, the climax of an argument between Mr. Knowlton and village officials that has lasted for over a year.

In April 2012, Norwood Mayor James H. McFaddin proposed enforcing an existing 8-ton weight limit on village roads. The village board affirmed the decision in September.

Mr. Knowlton, owner of Knowlton and Sons Trucking Company, argued that the law would make it impossible for him to maintain his business, forcing him to take a detour of more than 20 miles when making deliveries.

He ignored the law, continuing to make deliveries until receiving the summons in January.

Canton Town Justice Cathleen E. O’Horo heard the case and announced her decision Monday. Although she agreed that the village was within its rights to post weight limits, she noted that the law makes it the responsibility of the village to create a plan that would allow vehicles to proceed with minimal interference to and from a destination.

“Here the court finds it unreasonable on the part of the village to expect the defendant to always travel over 20 miles in order to conduct his business,” Ms. O’Horo wrote, ruling that Mr. Knowlton was not guilty.

“We were pretty pleased to hear that decision,” Mr. Knowlton said. “We’re going to continue business as usual. I don’t think there’s any winners in this, because we had to waste money on the court case that we would have rather put into our business. And we don’t know what the village is going to do from here.”

Mr. McFaddin said he needs to talk with the village’s atorney to weigh the village’s options, but he said Mr. Knowlton exaggerated his plight.

“I would agree with that if it were a 20-mile detour, but it isn’t,” he said. “We feel they were properly posted. And he will have to prove that he has to take a 20-mile detour to get to his destination.”

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