Share this article

print logo

Wales Town Board members vow to draw up a law against fracking

Members of the Wales Town Board vowed Tuesday to craft a law against hydraulic fracturing a practice of drilling for natural gas.

Wales is one of the last towns in Erie County that still depends on wells for potable water, and town officials and residents have expressed concerns about contamination.

Councilwoman Jude Hatrich told those attending a work session Tuesday night that once ground water is compromised with chemicals, "It's all over."

A state moratorium on fracking is scheduled to expire in July, and Hatrich and Councilman Michael Simon want the town to approve a resolution that will ban the process despite exemptions in federal and state regulations.

The gas is part of the Marcellus Shale formation in both New York and Pennsylvania that contains natural gas.

Hatrich pointed to recent media reports that gas drillers are growing impatient with environmentalists opposed to fracking.

Simon, who is in charge of drafting the town law, said he wants a draft that will stand up in the courts.

"The ones written now that are in the courts are too vague," he said. "I want it defined."

The Wales Town Board is urging residents to attend an informational meeting on fracking at 2 p.m. Feb. 20 in the Aurora Town Hall auditorium, 300 Gleed Ave.

The meeting is being organized and sponsored by Wales Protecting Our Water Rights, or POWR.

In other matters:

*A public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 8 on a request for an amended special-use permit amendment for Birch Grove Landscaping, for an update on a barn at the site, 11736 Big Tree Road (Route 20A). The barn -- to be called "The Hayloft in the Grove" -- would be adapted for celebrations including showers, weddings and arts-and-crafts, capable of accommodating as many as 100 people. All events would end at about 10:30 p.m., with cleanup lasting until 11:30, officials said. Jason and Jennifer Burford will deliver a presentation on their request during the hearing.

*A referendum to abolish the post of receiver of taxes and combine it with the town clerk will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 15 in Town Hall.

*A draft agreement drawn up by the Town of Aurora supervisor to provide dog control for the town shows the service would cost the town $2,900 a year for paperwork, calls and other clerical work based on two hours per week at $29 an hour. The cost of retrieving dogs is expected to remain at $65 an hour, the same as in 2010.

There are no comments - be the first to comment