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Skaneateles town board votes to amend mining law

During a special session of the Skaneateles Town Board, the council voted to approve Introductory Local Law 2008 B and to withdraw Introductory Local Law 2008 J. Both pieces of legislation pertain to mining in the town of Skaneateles.

Prior to voting on either policy, the board entered into discussion pertaining to the meeting itself and Local Law B, also known as the Orange Alternative.

Councilwoman Ellen Kulik said she thought it was inappropriate of the board to vote on the laws at a special meeting held at 8 a.m. because it does not allow the working community to attend, calling the move to hold meetings so early "cowardly."

While Supervisor Phil Tierney said he was sorry the communication about the meeting may not have been clear, one of the concerns and reasons for moving forward was that the moratorium on the law is close to expiration. What would be in order would be to make a motion approving the law or withdrawing it, he said.

"I thought we were going to get together as a board and talk about it," Kulik said. "I think it's shortsighted to vote on (laws B and J) separately."

According to Kulik, if the board's position was to pass the Orange Alternative and let the mining floating zone die, she needed to know that.

Councilman Dave Laxton said that when the comprehensive plan was put together, it was with the idea that no new mines south of Old Seneca Turnpike would be allowed.

"I couldn't approve any new mining south of Old Seneca Turnpike," Laxton said. "It would be going against the comprehensive plan."

Tierney said that some of the board members were alarmed by a lot of the testimony given during a recent public hearing on the mining floating zone and that there was no real testimony completely in favor of Local Law J, no one urging the board to move forward to pass the legislation.

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