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Starkey town board 1/5/12

    Meeting: The Starkey town board met for one hour and fifteen minutes on Thursday, Jan. 5.  
    Attendance: All board members were present.  Six members of the public were in the audience.
    Action:  Besides approving the payment of bills and other routine matters, there were no other actions by the board.
    Discussion without action: The town board discussed the process of forming a hydrofracking moratorium. Board members want to get something established, but feel everything needs to be thought out.  Councilman George Lawson noted that once a well is approved for drilling, nothing can be done to revoke the permit.  Therefore, a moratorium that postpones drilling altogether would not be a feasible option.  Councilman Fred Shoemaker agreed and said the board needs all the information they can get on permitted wells before a moratorium is approved.  Councilman Bill Holgate added another moratorium cannot be drafted once there is already one in place. The town board is currently considering two drafts.  One would follow the moratorium that Barrington passed last June.  The other is from Helen Slottje, the managing attorney with the Ithaca-based Community Environmental Defense Council, Inc.  Slottje agreed to assist the town in drafting a moratorium last November. Holgate noted the moratorium is more for the state to be aware of the board’s opposition to fracking.  He said the bigger issue down the road will be whether or not the state gives the town Home Rule on the issue.  Lawson said March would be the earliest that voting would be brought to the board’s table.  He believes there is a sense of urgency to get a moratorium sorted out, but it needs to be done the right way.  “We want to be comfortable that what we are doing is best for Starkey,” Lawson  said.
    • Starkey has not filled the open position for attorney.  The town board plans to create an advertisement regarding the vacancy in the near future. 
    Appointments/resignations: Sue Crans was reappointed as the town clerk/registrar.
    Upcoming meetings:  The planning board will hold a special meeting on hydrofracking on Tuesday, Jan. 24.  The next regular meeting will be Thursday, Feb. 9.  Both meetings will be held at the Starkey town hall at 7 p.m.


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