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Unanswered questions

May 3, 2012

Residents who turned out for a discussion of the Town of Callicoon’s draft comprehensive plan the other night must have been disappointed. Although the meeting was billed as a “public workshop,” and the entire comprehensive plan committee was present, no one on the committee answered a single question about the plan. Certified planner Nan Stolzenburg gave an excellent description of the planning process and how a plan should reflect the views of the entire community, but she readily admitted she could not explain why the committee had made some of its decisions.

Among the more troubling questions: Why does the draft plan “encourage” “a broad range of… industrial uses” when the vast majority of the residents have made it clear that they want to preserve the rural character of the town? And why does the plan suggest the town should zone for “transient housing developments” “that could accompany potential new large-scale industrial uses?”

Bruce Ferguson
Callicoon Center, NY

A diplomat

Politics aside, Mr. Ferguson gracefully dodges the elephant in the room that he describes, contaminating, shale gas extraction.

If the "vast majority" of the residents of the Township have declared they want no part of it, why does the "comprehensive plan committee" want a large part of it, and why did they not answer questions related to it?

As to the second point, are "transient housing developments" the notorious, temporary, "MAN CAMPS"?

I'll add one more. If the Lackawanna Syncline is the "line of death" as Mr. Engelder, "the father of the Marcellus Shale", and enthusiastic shale gas industry proponent, has reportedly stated, why is the comprehensive plan committee fighting so hard to encourage frac'ing this shale to be permitted in, or so very near, the "dead zone"?

Several years ago, in NYC at the DEC hearing in Tribecca, Dave Jones stated to me, that our area was "cooked", "over pressurized", "no commercial gas to extract". So, why are NWPOA, and, apparently, the Callicoon comprehensive plan committee, so eager to invite the industry in?

As I exposed in my letter to The River Reporter, why did Mr. Jones invest in so much property, in Wayne County, two years ago?

Line of death? The credibility of Professor Terry Engelder? The credibility of NWPOA?

What's going on?