GUILFORD – The Town of Guilford board accepted a petition purportedly signed by 75 percent of all the households currently drawing their water from Guilford Lake Wednesday, asking them to consider banning natural gas drilling in the nearby area.
Guilford resident Rose Mary Thomas presented the board with a list containing signatures from 65 of the 88 addresses currently served water in the Hamlet of Guilford, she said.
“In the Guilford hamlet, there is the Guilford school and fire department, two community buildings, three or four businesses and at least 15 empty residences, rentals and people gone for the winter. It is clear that 75 percent of the attainable signatures, which were procured at the time of the petition, represents the will of the hamlet residents,” she told the board.
Thomas said she and others began organizing the petition after they learned a property within about 500 feet of Guilford Lake and within 50 feet of the hamlet was leased for natural gas development. Petitioners believe development may threaten the area’s water supply.
The Guilford meeting drew a crowd of more than 30 people, many saying they turned out to hear about possible gas development near the lake; others said they wanted an update on the town’s ongoing reevaluation.
Guilford Supervisor George Seneck said the board would accept any petition submitted at the public meeting.
After reading the petition, Seneck reiterated, “Just so I understand, it’s your expectation to see what we can do locally to protect the residency and the water of Guilford lake and to limit intensive industrial activity?”
The petition calls for general protections specifically near the hamlet and along main roadways passing through the town.