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Town Board dismayed by lawsuit

Wales Town Board members have said little publicly since National Fuel filed a lawsuit in January over attempts by the town to control noise at a planned compressor station, but the silence shouldn't be misinterpreted.

The board is upset and still reeling over the lawsuit, Councilman Michael Simon said during a board meeting this week.

"Don't misconstrue our silence," Simon said. "This lawsuit has been strongly opposed, and as individuals and a group, we're torn by this thing."

Councilman Gerald Klinck chimed in, "We were played."

National Fuel Gas Supply Corp. is seeking to have noise standards placed by the town on its compressor station, under construction on Reiter Road, rolled back and to have the town pay it an unspecified amount in monetary damages and attorney fees.

The company filed a legal challenge in federal court in January and served papers on the town last month to comply with procedural deadlines.

"The town's enforcement of the overly restrictive noise conditions could interfere with our ability to provide reliable natural gas transportation service," National Fuel Vice President Ronald C. Kraemer said in a letter to Wales Supervisor Rickey Venditti.

The town has hired East Aurora attorney Jeremy Colby to defend the town.

Gene and Evelyn Kleinburg, members of a group that fought to keep the compressor station out of Wales, said they wanted the lowest calibrations from an engineering study on noise next to the compressor station included in the calculations for noise limits.

The town hired engineers to do a study, conducted by CRW Engineering from March 27 through April 4, at the request of nearby residents. The board voted unanimously to accept the report.

Residents at the meeting asked the tboard to train Code Enforcement Officer Walter Raichel and one other person to take noise calibrations.

Zoning code updates will be heard in public hearings at the next board meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. July 10.