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Reading elects Gigliotti as chair

    READING—The town of Reading planning board voted Thursday to elect Frank Gigliotti as chairperson and Wanda Centurelli as vice chairperson.
    Gigliotti replaces Gordon Wright, who resigned last spring.  Centurelli succeeds Bill Newell as the planning board’s vice chairperson.  Newell, who arrived several minutes after the meeting began, missed the votes to elect Gigliotti and Centurelli. He had been involved in a traffic accident on his way to the meeting.
    At its previous meeting earlier this month, a majority of the Planning Board voted against hearing a presentation on concerns about the Inergy LLC project by an energy industry expert whom Newell had scheduled to speak.
    The speaker had been arranged by Gas Free Seneca, a coalition of 95 Finger Lakes area businesses opposed to the Inergy project. The group has also collected 1,300 signatures from individuals in opposition.
    Gigliotti said Thursday that he does not intend for the planning board to hold further public hearings on the Inergy project unless it is specifically required by law.
    Inergy has proposed investing at least $40 million to store LPG in its local salt caverns, build an open 12-acre brine pond at the intersection of Routes 14 and 14a, and construct a truck-rail terminal in Reading.
    The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is requiring the company to complete an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project. After the agency accepts the EIS as adequate, the DEC will hold public hearings.
Inergy has said the LPG storage in salt caverns about two miles north of Watkins Glen will be part of a larger plan to develop a gas storage and pipeline network in the Northeast.
    The company is also seeking permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency to use eminent domain to obtain land and build a 39-mile natural gas pipeline, called the MARC 1, through northern Pennsylvania.
    That project received a setback earlier this month when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency questioned the need for the new pipeline. The Associated Press reported that FERC has received more than 20,000 comments on the proposed pipeline, many seeking a formal environmental impact study of the project.



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