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Shocked by Callicoon Town Board action

May 22, 2013

[Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to the Town of Callicoon Town Board members. It is reprinted here at the request of the authors.]

My husband and I are shocked by the actions the [town] board took last night. By adopting a town comprehensive plan that includes such welcoming gas drilling language as you have written, the board egregiously ignored the multiple examples of compelling evidence that the town’s taxpayers and residents overwhelmingly oppose fracking in our town. It also ignored the advice of Sullivan County to remove the pro-fracking language from the plan. The fact is that the town board has not offered a single bit of evidence that fracking is supported by the majority of the community.

You have recklessly opened the town to defending itself against expensive lawsuits that will come about as a result of this action. Many of us are prepared for a long legal fight. My husband and I, for example, will not idly sit by while you write a plan that invites the devaluation of our property and the essential destruction of our home.

The irony is that you will certainly want to continue to heavily tax us for a piece of property that will be dramatically diminished in value by the presence of gas drilling in our town. For this reason, the town can expect there will be those who legally resist the town’s tax property assessments. Note that the board’s action last night has already immediately diminished the value of our property. In a town that has just passed the comprehensive plan you passed, it will be hard to sell real estate with good homes in it.

We are utterly dismayed to be watching what amounts to a cabal of selfish men taking control of a town and using it for their own purposes. Shame on you.

Laurie Fendrich and Peter Plagens
Callicoon Center, NY