N.Y. Public Authorities Law Section 578
Powers of the authority


The authority shall have power and is hereby authorized:

1.

To sue and be sued in courts of general jurisdiction, whether federal, state, or foreign, including but not limited to the supreme court of the state of New York;

2.

To have a seal and alter the same as its pleasure;

3.

To acquire real property or rights or easements therein by condemnation, pursuant to the condemnation law, and to acquire, purchase, hold, dispose of and use any real or personal property or any interest therein necessary, convenient or desirable to carry out any purpose described in this title and to sell, at public or private sale, convey, transfer, assign and dispose of any property or interest therein at any time required by it in the exercise of its powers or when it may determine it no longer needs the same for its corporate purposes, upon such terms and for such consideration, if any, as it shall deem fit;

4.

To lease, as lessor or as lessee, any real or personal property or any interest therein for any purposes consistent with any purposes described in this title or with the appropriate use of the authority’s facilities or with the convenience of the public using such facilities, upon such terms and for such consideration, if any, as it shall deem fit, provided, however, that no lease shall be made for a term of more than ten years, including all renewal options, without the prior express and formal approval and consent of the supervisors;

5.

To make by-laws for the management and regulation of its affairs, and to establish and change a fiscal year for its operations and financial reporting purposes;

6.

To determine as matters of policy what courses of action are in the best interests of any bridge complex or other authorized purpose and to pursue the same;

7.

To appoint and remove such officers, agents and employees as it may require for the performance of its duties, and to fix and determine their qualifications, duties, and compensation and to retain or employ and discharge counsel, auditors, engineers, architects and private consultants on a contract basis or otherwise for rendering professional or technical services and advice. To establish a practicable merit system for the appointment and promotion of its employees. Neither the authority nor any of its officers, employees, or agents shall be subject to the provisions of the civil service law nor be under the jurisdiction or subject to the rules of any civil service commission;

8.

To use the agents, employees, facilities and equipment of the county or of any town or political subdivision within the county or of any board, agency or department thereof, to the extent agreement therefor may be reached with the appropriate governing body, and to pay such county, town or political subdivision its agreed proportion of the compensation or costs;

9.

To make contracts and agreements and to execute all instruments necessary or convenient;

10.

To construct, maintain, repair and operate the following bridges and approaches thereto and roads: One or more bridges across the easterly or American channel of the Saint Lawrence river at a point at or near Collins landing in the town of Orleans, in Jefferson county, New York, from the mainland to Wellesley or Wells island. One or more bridges across the westerly or Canadian channel of the Saint Lawrence river at a point at or near Ivy Lea in the county of Leeds, in the province of Ontario, from the mainland to Hill island. One or more bridges across the International rift from a point on such Wellesley or Wells island to such Hill island. One or more roads on such Wellesley or Wells island connecting any bridge across the American channel with any bridge across the International rift. One or more roads on such Hill island connecting any bridge across the Canadian channel with any bridge across the International rift. The approach roads connecting any of such bridges and tunnels with the state highway system in New York and with the nearest highway in the province of Ontario. Any road connecting any of its facilities with any other or with any state, county or town road, or any public highway, or any road providing access for vehicles or pedestrians from one part of its real property to another;

11.

To construct and maintain over, under, along or across the bridges and roads hereby authorized, telephone, telegraph or electric wires and cables, gas mains, water mains, and other mechanical equipment not inconsistent with the appropriate use of the bridges and roads or such other facilities. To contract for such construction and maintenance and to lease the right to construct, maintain and/or use the same on such terms and for such consideration as it shall determine, provided, however, that no lease shall be made for a term of more than ten years, including all renewal option, without the prior express and formal approval and consent of the supervisors;

12.

To construct and maintain such buildings, structures, improvements, roads, parking and other facilities as may be necessary or convenient, to contract for such construction and maintenance and to lease the right to construct, maintain and/or use such facilities on such terms and for such considerations as it shall determine, provided, however, that no lease shall be made for a term of more than ten years, including all renewal options, without the prior express and formal approval and consent of the supervisors;

13.

To fix, charge and collect tolls for traffic across its bridges, subject to any approval thereof or limitations or regulatory restrictions thereto as required, fixed, or imposed by federal law of either the United States of America or Canada, which shall in the opinion of the authority be adequate to provide complete operation and maintenance of all its facilities and programs, repay any indebtedness of the authority as scheduled and agreed, establish and fund reserves for the repair, improvement or replacement of any or all of its facilities or the construction of any new facility which it may be authorized to construct under this title, or which shall accomplish as many of the foregoing purposes as may be practicable, and at a level which shall not jeopardize or be unreasonably competitive with any other similar toll charging facilities within a radius of fifty miles of Collins Landing, New York;

14.

To construct, maintain, repair and operate within the county one or more facilities for the performance or display of any medium of the arts, including but not limited to concerts, plays, exhibitions, and any activity which could reasonably contribute to the cultural improvement of the communities in the area of its influence;

15.

To construct, maintain, repair and operate within the county one or more facilities for conventions, meetings, sporting events of all kinds, museums, any activity which could reasonably contribute to the attraction of tourists and recreational development and industrial and commercial developments;

16.

To cooperate with the Watertown airport commission, the city of Watertown, the county and any other agency or agencies to assist in the improvement, enlargement, development, operation and promotion of the Watertown international airport as an essential transportation facility for the county and the adjacent territory, and to agree with said city and county for the acquisition by the authority of such airport and to operate and manage such airport;

17.

To cooperate with the county and the municipalities therein bordering on the Saint Lawrence river and on Lake Ontario and to assist in the study, development, operation and promotion of suitable port and docking facilities on said river and lake within or bordering the county and the improvement of water-borne transportation, and to construct, operate and manage such port and docking facilities as it may determine to be in the public interest;

18.

To make studies and surveys of the needs of the county for the development and improvement of its transportation facilities, whether by land, air or water and to report the results thereof and its recommendations to the supervisors;

19.

To enter on any lands, waters and premises for the purpose of making surveys, soundings and examinations;

20.

To fix and collect any payments, fees and other charges for the use of any facility under its control other than bridges;

21.

To borrow money and issue its negotiable bonds and notes or other obligations for any of its corporate purposes and to provide for and secure the payment thereof and to provide for the rights of the holders thereof, subject to any limitations or conditions imposed thereon as elsewhere in this title provided;

22.

To put into effect and maintain fiduciary bonds on its members and on any employee or agent who handles or controls money or assets of the authority which could be embezzled or stolen, in such amounts as the authority may deem reasonable or as requested by the county;

23.

To put into effect and maintain insurance coverage protecting the authority and its individual members from liability for errors and omissions or from any act other than a willful violation of law which constitutes a crime;

24.

To make payments to any domestic or foreign subdivision of government in which any of its facilities are situated, whether in lieu of taxes or otherwise, in such amounts and at such times as the authority may in its sole discretion determine, provided, however, that if the authority is at the time of reference operating both in the county and in the province of Ontario it shall endeavor in good faith to make any such payments to Canadian political subdivisions or municipalities and those to the county or subdivisions or municipalities of such county in proportion to its income generated in such different jurisdictions, as nearly as practicable, after taking into account any taxes which are required to be paid and any services or facilities which are required to be or are supplied for less than full payment;

25.

To engage in such advertising and promotion of the bridges, bridge complex, and of the areas adjacent thereto and within a radius of fifty miles thereof, and of such of its other authorized purposes, as it in its sole discretion shall determine. Such promotion shall be deemed to include but not be limited to the promotion of tourism in the county and the southern portion of the province of Ontario, Canada, including the Front of Leeds and Lansdowne;

26.

To cooperate and participate in or to initiate any public promotions, parades, special events, area promotions, historical pageants, and the like held within fifty miles of Collins Landing, New York;

27.

To invest any funds held in reserve or sinking funds, or any moneys not required for immediate use or disbursement, at the discretion of the authority in (a) obligations of the state or the United States government, or any political subdivision, agency and instrumentality of either;

(b)

obligations of the province of Ontario or of the federal government of Canada, or any political subdivision or agency and instrumentality of either, (c) obligations the principal and interest of which are guaranteed by the state or the United States government, or by the province of Ontario or the federal government of Canada, (d) certificates of deposit of banks or trust companies in this state or in the province of Ontario secured, if the authority shall so require, by obligations described in (a), (b), or

(c)

above or other marketable securities eligible as security for the deposit of trust funds under regulations of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System with a market value equal at all times to the amount on deposit;

28.

To combine any two or more of its purposes or facilities into a single project for financing purposes;

29.

To use revenues, income or funds from any source to create, construct, reconstruct, support, operate, repair and maintain any one or more of its other purposes or facilities;

30.

To make rules and regulations governing the use by the public of the bridges, the bridge complex, and any facility owned or operated by it;

31.

To establish a code of ethics and rules regarding conflict of interest for the members of its board and its employees and agents;

32.

To accept public or private gifts or grants of funds or property;

33.

To engage in any activity permitted by law which in its judgment would be convenient for the public using any of its facilities;

34.

To enter into agreements with the government of the Dominion of Canada or the province of Ontario, or any political subdivision of either, for the construction and operation in Canada of any of the bridges and facilities authorized hereunder and for the application of revenues collected by the authority for the use of the bridges and facilities operated by it in Canada;

35.

To do in the province of Ontario anything it is authorized or permitted to do in the state of New York and which is permitted by the laws of such foreign jurisdiction;

36.

To exercise any of its powers alone or in conjunction with any political subdivision;

37.

To do all things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers enumerated above and to effectuate their general intent and purpose. The foregoing specification of powers shall not be construed as in any way limiting or denying the usual implied powers, it being the intent that the authority shall have full power to manage its affairs generally with the same freedom from the restrictions which apply to municipalities as do boards of directors of privately owned corporations.

38.

Notwithstanding any of the foregoing, the authority shall not initially enter into any general activity category authorized in subdivisions fourteen through seventeen of this section, including but not limited to the construction or operation of any performing arts center, cultural improvement project, convention hall, sports arena, museum, industrial or commercial development project, airport, port, marina or docking facility, until and unless it has been formally requested to do so by the supervisors by resolution duly adopted.

Source: Section 578 — Powers of the authority, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/PBA/578 (updated Oct. 9, 2015; accessed Jun. 15, 2024).

Accessed:
Jun. 15, 2024

Last modified:
Oct. 9, 2015

§ 578’s source at nysenate​.gov

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