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Watkins considers gas drilling impact

WATKINS GLEN—A presentation titled “Gas Drilling and Your Community” was viewed by officials at the regular meeting of the Watkins Glen Village Board on Monday, Aug. 16. Rocky Kambo from the Schuyler County Energy Task Force made the presentation.
The information presented outlined the impact from Marcellus Shale drilling to all municipalities in Schuyler County. The same information is being presented to ensure a uniform conclusion, “Consistency is the key,” Kambo said.
Impact from drilling will include an increased number of people coming into the area as far as workers and their families. According to information from other states that have experienced drilling, estimates were made for the Schuyler County area. The estimates predict a shortage of housing, increased traffic of cars and big trucks, increased school district enrollment and an increase in inflation.
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Mayor Judy Phillips responded to the presentation by saying we don’t really have the land for them to drill on in Watkins Glen. She does, however, see an issue, especially regarding road travel in neighboring areas.
The board also approved a request from Watkins Glen Promotions regarding the Grand Prix Festival in Watkins Glen. The event will take place Sept. 10 and Franklin Street will be closed for the event. Specific times are still being discussed and law enforcement officials are working to create a plan to control the crowds after the event. “We’re getting things back in control,” Trustee Nick Kelly said.
Police Chief Tom Struble commented that the Italian-American Festival and NASCAR weekend went well as far as law enforcement. The two weekends with increased activity “went off relatively easy,” he said.
The Watkins Glen Police Department has also received $1,500 from the Buckle Up New York grant. The grant will be in effect from October 2010 through September 2011. During this time road and seatbelt checks will take place to ensure safety in Watkins Glen and Schuyler County.
The village board also approved to designate a bus stop for the Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit, Inc. at Lafayette Park located at Fourth and Decatur Streets. A bus route picks up people in Watkins Glen at 6:18 a.m. and 7:53 a.m. and drops them off at 4:34 p.m. and 5:44 p.m. “We felt it would meet our needs and not be disruptive,” Mayor Phillips said.
The next regular meeting of the Watkins Glen Village Board will be Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.


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