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Local News

March 25, 2013

Oneonta town board to vote on moratorium

The Oneonta Town Board will vote tonight on a proposed extension to a moratorium on natural gas drilling, the supervisor said Sunday.

The board will consider a proposal that was the subject of a public hearing March 13, Supervisor Robert Wood said. However, the board tonight will consider six-month and a 12-month versions.

At the hourlong hearing, Wood and board members listened to comments about the proposal and hydrofracturing, with most speakers in general opposing fracking or specifically urging the board to extend the moratorium, which expires April 2.

The board wasn’t ready to vote March 13 after the hearing in part because it recently had hired a town attorney, and a motion to set a date for a special meeting to vote on the extension failed in a 2-2 vote.

Board members Scott Gravelin and William Mirabito voted against a motion to hold a special meeting last week.

Councilman David Jones and Wood voted in favor of the date, and board member Janet Hurley Quackenbush was absent.

Wood said he knew of no councilman who wouldn’t be attending tonight’s meeting.

The town board passed a 12-month moratorium last year by a one-vote margin. The moratorium addresses all forms of drilling and associated activities, such as the storage of drilling-related materials.

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