News Details - Legislature Accepts Grant to Support Planning Assistance Related to Gas Drilling
The Legislature, by unanimous vote, accepted a $50,000 grant from the Park Foundation to partially support a one-year planner position to provide technical assistance to municipalities aimed at reducing impacts of natural gas drilling. (Legislator Dooley Kiefer was excused.)
Housed in the County Planning Department, the position will provide direct assistance to local governments in implementing best practices to address the impact of gas drilling activities.
Legislators agreed that now is the time to act to prepare, but several expressed concern about timing, in light of the County’s budget constraints, and that about $30,000 (from Planning Department rollover funds) would be required, split over two budget years, to supplement the grant funding.
Legislator Peter Stein expressed hope that the Tompkins County Council of Governments would address the issues and determine how to share costs in a way that will not overburden the County.
Planning Committee chair Pam Mackesey stated, “This is not something we can put off until our county economy improves—this knows no boundaries in terms of county or municipal lines.” Legislator Jim Dennis called the expense “a cost of doing business in Tompkins County next year,” saying the program must exist to protect the county’s future.