Marcellus The Marcellus Town Board met last week and established a public hearing date to discuss the hydrofracking issue.
Thursday, Jan. 26, will be an opportunity for the public to air their views on the controversial subject. The hearing starts at 7 p.m. at town hall.
Marcellus’s current one-year drilling moratorium ends one day before the hearing. The board is expected to vote to extend the moratorium.
Town Supervisor Dan Ross said hydrofracking is not under the town’s control, however.
“The actual process of putting the drill into the ground is under the control of the (Department of Environmental Conservation),” Ross said. “We could pass a ban but we would subject ourselves to possible legal costs. We’re not sure we want to get into that.”
The board is paying close attention to a pair of ongoing lawsuits between New York towns and drilling companies, Ross said.
In other town board news
—The board enacted a local law amending subdivision regulations for the issue of runoff storm water.
“If you’re going to change a piece of property or you’re going to subdivide it with the intent to change it, what impact does it have on the water that might run off your property?” Ross said.
Ross said the law puts additional requirements on subdivision applicants to define where storm water is going to go.
—The board discussed a recent agreement between Marcellus and the Central New York SPCA. Ross said Onondaga County is no longer involved in cases of animal cruelty. It recently passed that responsibility to towns.
Ross isn’t a fan of that, but said Marcellus will have to make do.
“In the meantime we have to have a place to send these animals,” Ross said.
Marcellus signed a contract with the SPCA paying the shelter $599 a year, or 9 cents per resident.
—The board approved a contract to continue employing Zumba Fitness for its recreation program.
—The board established a petty cash fund for the justice court to cover day-to-day needs.
—Finally, the board agreed to provide funding to the Marcellus United Methodist Church to help put on its regular senior luncheon.
Kris Russell is a freelance reporter for the Eagle Observer.