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Callicoon will not adopt comprehensive plan as written

By Isaac Green Diebboll
March 13, 2013

There was tension and restraint about how to proceed regarding the town’s proposed comprehensive plan during the public comment period of the Town of Callicoon meeting on March 11. There was anxiety about language in the plan that suggests the town board is preparing for and inviting hydraulic fracturing.

The town board has indicated it would be irresponsible not to prepare for fracking. In any case, supervisor Tom Bose said he wanted to appoint a volunteer review panel with five to eight members to study the comprehensive plan, suggest changes and finalize it.

Bose said the purpose of this panel is to study “whether the language in it is necessary, or whether it should be removed,” specifically regarding the issues surrounding natural gas drilling. He said that this review panel is not being created to discuss natural gas drilling, but only to study the comprehensive plan and to finalize it. The signup deadline is April 8, which is the date of the next town meeting.

The other board members agreed that perhaps different language would be helpful, and they wanted to stress that they did not have personal agendas in mind with the adoption of the new comprehensive plan.

Bose said that all sides of the fracking debate would be represented on the review committee. He said, “It’s always very easy to be very negative on everything, but let’s go in with positive thoughts and get this done the right way.”

In other business, resident Dennis Finley has been working on a veteran’s memorial for the town. During public comment he said, “This memorial is going to be here a long time, so we should be thinking about the longevity of it, and not the immediacy of it. We decided we want to change the location of the memorial. I just want everybody in the town to understand that it’s not something that I’m acting on, it’s something that I’m realizing has to get done right the first time. And so I’m asking for the patience of everybody in the town who is concerned about when the actual work is going to get underway. We’re not that far away... and so my pledge to the citizens of the Town of Callicoon is that this memorial will be something that the community will be very proud of.”

Footage of the entire meeting will be available at the Community Film Depot’s blog at www.communityfilmdepot.blogspot.com—a public film archive of community for community.