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Vernak Farms to host Spafford music festival in August

— —Stevens said the board received a letter, along with a $300 check, from Chesapeake Operating Inc. regarding a land lease for gas exploration (but not for hydraulic fracturing) they have with the town.

The board received the check in February for the automatic renewal of the five-year lease with the company and, at the March 8 board meeting, opted to break the lease and return the check. The letter most recently received requested the town honor the agreement.

According to the town’s attorney, Stevens said the lease allows Chesapeake to extend the agreement for five years and not cashing the check does not void the agreement, so the town will cash the check.

Stevens read from the attorney’s letter that Chesapeake “can extend [the] lease simply by tendering a check” in the amount agreed upon.

With hydrofracking being the biggest concern for all involved, Stevens commented that the company won’t be able to drill on the property regardless of the lease.

Councilor Jeff Ireland was in agreement.

“You can’t drill on the property anyway,” he said. “It’s not big enough.”

According to Spafford Town Clerk Lisa Valletta, the town property leased by Chesapeake Operating Inc., a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, is a 0.22-acre lot near the intersection of Bacon Hill Road and Route 41.

Miranda L. Pennock is an Eagle Newspapers contributor. She can be reached through the editor at editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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