Yates County requests state assurance
PENN YAN—Anticipating the possibility of gas drilling in Yates, the county legislature has passed a resolution that requests the state fully fund any costs associated with drilling if wells in the area are to receive permits. The resolution was approved during the legislative meeting on Monday, Feb. 13.
A section of the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement drafted by the state’s Department of Health proposes a protocol where county health departments have responsibility for conducting pre-drilling tests. Administrator Sarah Purdy said these tests include health and safety inspections, permitting issues and ensuring the cleanliness of drinking water in the area.
Purdy noted there is no knowledge of how much money would be needed to budget for any testing that would occur if gas industries are allowed to begin drilling in the area. However, the important thing is to keep Yates County from facing any additional expenditures pertaining to fracking. Purdy also added the county still needs to figure out if there are any wells in the area that are permitted for drilling.
Legislator Mark Morris mentioned that other resolutions relating to gas drilling are expected to be voted on in the near future. Purdy stated one potential legislation being considered would request funding from the state to add more members to the county’s planning department. She explained that the department currently consists of only one person and that more assistance would be needed if testing is to take place. Purdy also said the planning department is completely separate from the county’s planning board.
In other business:
• The legislature approved to hold a public hearing on proposed Local-Law 1-12 to establish residency requirements for the positions of assistant county attorney, social services attorney and personnel officer. The hearing will take place on March 11 at 1:05 p.m. in the Yates County Legislative Chambers.
• A resolution was passed to renew the county’s contract with ECC Technologies Inc. for $8,000. The contract will last till Dec. 31, 2012.
• The legislature passed a resolution accepting a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant to implement a home ownership program to enable low and moderate income households to become first-time home buyers.
• The legislature approved a resolution reappointing Larry Ledgerwood, Gary Lilyea, Aaron Vaughan and Alan Tomion to the county’s Farmland Protection Board.
• Resolutions were passed that will create two part-time records retention clerk positions to fill a void created by a retirement. One of the part-time positions will be at an hourly pay of $12.38 and the other will be $11.74. Both are not to exceed 17.5 hours a week. Purdy said that by having two part-time positions instead of one full-time, the county will save around $8,000. She also added the retirement was not anticipated during the budget process.
• The legislature approved Legislature Chair H. Taylor Fitch to sign an agreement with the state’s Department of Health for an Early Intervention Administration grant of $28,085 through Sep. 30, 2012.
• The purchase of two street rollers by the highway department for $185,000 was approved.
• The legislature approved the appropriations of $150,000 to the Yates County Chamber of Commerce and $1,000 to the county’s Genealogical and Historical Society.
• Speech Language Pathologist Lauren Taylor was approved to provide service to Early Intervention children.
•A resolution was approved to enter a contract with ProAction of Steuben and Yates Counties, Inc. that will not exceed $6,409.33. The contract is valid through Dec. 31, 2012.
• Richard Shaver was appointed to the Developmental Disabilities Subcommittee of the Yates County Community Services Board. The appointment will last until Dec. 31, 2015.