Afton tips hat to DECís gas drilling expertise

AFTON - The Afton Town Board adopted a resolution last night supporting New Yorkís ability to develop its natural gas resources in a safe, responsible and competitive manner.

The vote was 4 to 1 with Councilwoman Mary Jo Long opposed. Two speakers representing both sides of the argument addressed the board for an alloted 20 minutes. Based on applause and other encouragement heard from the 65-member audience, the boardís action was overwhelmingly supported.

Afton joins the towns of Bainbridge, Preston, and Guilford, who also chose to endorse the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation this week. All but Preston adopted a resolution that was written and proposed by the Central New York Landowners Coalition. The CNYLC document specifically advises against bans or maratoriums on drilling that would jeopardize a potential statewide influx of $11.4 billion from natural gas development. Prestonís version, although original, also recognized the DECís ability to safeguard the local environment, recognize property ownersí rights and hold the gas industry to the same standards as other industries operating in the state.

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