NORTH NORWICH – The town board of North Norwich met Monday for a public comment session regarding the practice of natural gas drilling and if views expressed during the meeting are an indication of how the entire township feels, the board faces tough decisions in the future.
More than 35 people filed into the North Norwich town hall to offer comments about natural gas drilling. While North Norwich Supervisor Robert Wansor assured attendees that the meeting was intended solely to hear the public’s opinion about the highly-contested practice of hydraulic fracturing – commonly referred to as “fracking” – and that no decision would be made by the board to support or discourage the method of natural gas drilling, many residents spoke fervently in favor and just as many voiced their concern of fracking in the area.
Clifton Tamsett, the first to speak, asked that North Norwich follow suit of other Chenango County municipalities that have already backed the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s advocacy of safe and responsible gas drilling. Last week, the towns of Afton, Preston, Bainbridge and Guilford showed support for the DEC’s proclamation, Preston being the only municipality that did not adopt a resolution proposed and written by the Central New York Landowners Coalition that urges against bans or moratoriums of gas drilling that might risk a potential statewide influx of $11.4 billion.