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Town Board postpones vote on hydrofracking law

Skaneateles farmer Dirk Young, middle, told the Skaneateles Town Board during a public hearing on April 19 ofhis opposition to the board's proposed local law that would essentially prohibit hydrofracking in the town. He was preceded by a dozen residents who spoke in favor of the law.

Skaneateles farmer Dirk Young, middle, told the Skaneateles Town Board during a public hearing on April 19 ofhis opposition to the board's proposed local law that would essentially prohibit hydrofracking in the town. He was preceded by a dozen residents who spoke in favor of the law. Photo by Jason Emerson.

— More than one dozen local residents spoke out at the public hearing in favor of the town board passing the proposed law, while two residents spoke in opposition. Roney limited public comments to two minutes each due to the size of the crowd.

The comments in favor of the proposed law were all similar: they thanked the board for its work in fighting against hydfrofracking, they warned of the environmental hazards of gas drilling, they voiced concern to preserve the bucolic character of Skaneateles and many said the technology for drilling is not yet ready to safely carry out the process to harvest the admittedly valuable gas.

“The quality of life in this community is its most important asset,” said Holly Gregg, local resident and chair of the Citizens to Preserve the Character of Skaneateles. “We applaud this law and thank you.”

Skaneateles resident Connie Brace told people to think of the issue of trucking hydrofracking would impose on the town. “We spent all this time to get trucks out of this town, and this will bring them back in,” she said.

Resident Julie Sharpe, citing the environmental hazards of hydrofracking and the beauty of Skaneateles and its lake, said, “If we don’t defend our gift from God, who will?”

Michael Gorr, from Niles, told the town board that other towns in the area are waiting to see what Skaneateles does to oppose hydrofracking, that the board’s decision would ultimately affect all the surrounding communities.

“They are waiting to see what happens here,” he said.

For the first time in at least a year, two attendees spoke out in opposition of the town’s proposed prohibitions against gas drilling.

Skaneateles resident Jim Condon said the although he is against hydrofracking, he urged the town board to review the proposed law because he was concerned that it included language that could unintentionally hurt other area businesses or even drive them out of the area altogether.

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BoheaTea 1 year, 11 months ago

The constitution is the law of this land. Our forefathers were well aware of the impact of the evolution of unchecked power to the government resulting in a decline of our liberties granted to us in the constitution. This is another example of government taking our personal property to protect the community property (water, air, lakes, views,etc). The problem this Town will be confronted with is the assumption that all drilling for natural gas will result in contamination of water, land, lakes, etc.. In essence guilty before trial. What will be next under their definition of "Heavy Industrial Activities"?

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