Gas drilling now on legislative agenda
By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO Ready to hear more or say more about the potential for local natural gas drilling?
Sullivan County Planning Commissioner William Pammer told legislators Thursday that he’s planning a panel discussion on the matter for June 27 at 7 p.m. Open to the public, it will be held at the CVI building in Ferndale.
Featured panelists will be representatives from the Oil and Gas Accountability Project (to talk about environmental issues) and the Hinman, Howard and Kottell law firm (to talk about legal issues).
Pammer, who’s planning to talk about state environmental rules as they pertain to gas drilling and extraction, promised the meeting would feature a range of views, illustrating the pros and the cons.
MILLION DOLLAR AUCTION
County Treasurer Ira Cohen was pleased to announce to legislators Thursday that 127 properties sold at Wednesday’s tax foreclosure auction, grossing nearly $4 million.
“That’s somewhat skewed,” he cautioned, noting that several high-priced properties affected the numbers, including the repurchase by the original owners of the old Camp Fordham property in the Town of Mamakating.
Removing those properties from the tally elicited a $1.2 million take, said Cohen, who thanked auctioneer Ed Haroff for his efforts.
Haroff, who was present for Thursday’s legislative meeting, said that 38 bidders participated via the Internet “one of them as far away as Australia.”
Legislator Alan Sorensen wryly noted, “It’s a little ironic now that casinos are off the table we have our best auction ever.”
VISITORS CENTER EDGES CLOSER
The Planning, Environmental Management and Real Property Committee unanimously approved naming the county as lead agency in the environmental review process for the construction of the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway Visitors Center.
Slated to be built along Route 97 in Cochecton, the center will serve as an interpretive facility and headquarters for the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, which promotes Route 97 and the Upper Delaware River Valley.