February 22, 2012 —
In the Orange County Town of Minisink, the prospect of a compressor station being built has galvanized the community to fight against it. The concerns of the residents are centered on safety, health and economic impacts. Most specifically, however, opponents object to the fact that it would be constructed at a site “surrounded by over 145 homes and residential lots within approximately a half mile,” according to information on the anti-station website www.stopmcs.org .
But Gerald Euker, Town of Delaware Planning Board chairman, thinks a compressor station might be a good fit for the town in the right location. Euker, who is also the owner of Eagle Valley Realty, addressed the town board on February 15. He said he had been contacted by a landman because he owns land adjacent to the Millennium Pipeline, and the landman was seeking a spot where a compressor station could be constructed. The landman was looking in the towns of Delaware and Cochecton.
Ultimately, Euker received an email saying the landman was going to look elsewhere, “because the Town of Delaware and the government in the county are giving them indications that they were not welcome here.” Euker went on to say that a compressor station could be worth $3 million and would significantly add to the town’s tax base.
Town supervisor Ed Sykes said that the board had not been approached by anyone regarding a possible compressor station.
Euker provided a copy of the email from Ken Sikorski, president of Eagle Land Services in New Jersey, which said, “The political climate in Sullivan County is not very warm for any gas company activities (mining, fracking, etc.) and although that is NOT (the) purpose for a new station, the county politicians are making it clear they will oppose any plan for a new compressor station.”
Euker suggested that Millennium be contacted and told that the Town of Delaware might not be opposed to a compressor station. He said the planning board was working on zoning that would cover compressor stations, and “as long as it could be put in a place where it met the guidelines that we’re setting up, I think we should be happy to have it in the Town of Delaware.”
He said there are places where it would be out of the way.
Tom Collins, a spokesman for Millennium Pipeline, however, said that the company is looking at sites in both Delaware and Sullivan, and further the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requires the company to "fully explore all the potential possibilities" for site for a compression station.
At the meeting, Sykes responded saying that he would like to read the email; the town board has a policy of neutrality regarding gas drilling.
On another matter, the board formed a committee to work on the contentious issue of whether the town should have a board of assessors, which normally has three different assessors, or change to a system of a sole assessor, which is how most towns in Sullivan County are arranged.
Brad Walrod, a member of the zoning board, asked whether there were any second homeowners on the committee. Sykes said, “No, that’s not who I’d pick.”