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April 26, 2013

Gas development could have saved Manor

The continuing discussion about the outcome of Otsego Manor is a losing situation for all. The Manor should never have been built in the first place. The debt load it places on our county is not sustainable now and in the future. There is no other solution at the present time other than to sell and cooperatively work with the new owners.

The issue is not only the debt incurred, but also in the day-to-day cost and maintenance of the facility. Five years ago, Gastem USA was poised to develop wells in Middlefield. Cooperstown Holstein Corp. would have had a conventional (vertical) well in the sandstone. The gas from the well was to be distributed locally. On the list of potential markets was the Manor. How much money would the Manor have saved by having a local affordable heating source?

The Cooperstown Holstein Corp. is no stranger to supplying natural gas to neighboring buildings, having supplied biogas to the Meadows and the county Sheriff’s Department. Not only would the Manor have benefited, the surrounding community would have also reaped the benefits through the ad valorem taxes. These are the taxes the gas company would have paid to the town and to local school districts on the natural gas extracted.

If gas wells had been developed into other formations, the financial benefits and possibilities would have helped the economics of the area. Unfortunately, the miracle of natural gas will not happen in Middlefield and the Manor will not reap the benefits of affordable energy and enjoy a self-sustainable future.

The Endless Mountain Health Care System in Montrose, Pa., with natural gas dollars, was able to raise over $5.5 million in less than a year toward building a brand, new hospital.

Anna Marie Lusins


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