Oxford anticipates crowd for drilling discussion tonight

OXFORD – In anticipation of a large turnout, Oxford officials have moved tonight’s town board meeting at 7:30 p.m. to the Oxford Academy high school auditorium.

Supervisor Lawrence Wilcox said yesterday he expected approximately 250 people to attend. The number would be a record-breaker for any town board meeting in Chenango County, even with the long and hotly debated subject of hydraulic fracturing. Wilcox, who is also chairman of the Chenango County Board of Supervisors, said comments from individuals representing both sides of the shale gas drilling issue would be heard.

The supervisor estimated 250 attendees based on one individual’s plan to bring 75 people to the meeting. He also said misinformation in The Evening Sun’s article prior to last month’s meeting was to blame. Inaccurate information provided by the Oxford Town Clerk’s office led to an error regarding a moratorium being on the meeting’s agenda. Irving Wesley Hall, a former American History professor at SUNY Morrisville in Norwich and prominent activist in the 1960s, was on the agenda to ask questions about the town’s “responsibilities under the state constitution to regulate or prohibit the various aspects of this industrial process (drilling and hydraulic fracturing).”

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