Town of Butler – February 11, 2013
A regular scheduled meeting of the Butler Town Board was held on February 11, 2013 at the Butler Town Hall.
Roland Micklem addressed the town board about fracking in the Town of Butler. He wants the town board to realize that any decision the town board makes will affect the surrounding towns. Mr. Micklem, a non-Butler resident, has concerns about the local water tables and escaped methane from fracking. Mr. Micklem requested that any of the councilmen who have wells or a lease with a gas company should be excused from any decisions on fracking. Nancy Kasper, a non-Butler resident, asked the board members about the pro-fracking resolution and when was the decision made and why weren’t the Butler residents notified about this decision. Ms. Kasper also said she has grave concerns with possible contamination of the local water tables. She asked the town board if they want to be part of a contaminated environment and feels the fracking industry is not giving the town board accurate information. Tim Nau, a Butler resident, said the fracking process is a dirty process and asked the board to wait until they can do it safely. Queeno VanAuken said she feels fracking would contaminate the water. Vicki Columbus, a non-Butler resident, said the NYS Department of Health is doing research on how fracking might pollute the water. She thinks it is a concern for all of us. Councilman VanDeusen said he thinks everybody has concerns about water. He asked the group, where are the documents showing these problems. He talked about the history of hydro-fracking and would like to see evidence from the group about fracking polluting water. Nancy Kasper replied that slick water hydro-fracking process is the problem. The old fracking process used water not chemicals. Ms. Kasper also said contaminated wells by fracking companies are sued by the individual. The gas company will settle with the individual with a gag order. The councilmen and anti-fracking group talked about funding studies on fracking and toxins in Ontario Lake water.
Dorothy Wiggins, Butler resident, asked about the town being a pro-fracking town. Supervisor Spickerman replied that the town did a resolution in 2010. He was asked if the town board take a public poll about fracking. Supervisor Spickerman said no, they can research and make an informed decision. Councilman VanGelder said there was testing in Butler several years ago. They discussed the possibility of agricultural waste getting into the wells and waterways. Nancy Kasper asked if the Butler residents will be notified when a decision on fracking will be made by the town board. Supervisor Spickerman said when New York State makes their decision the town board will make theirs. Supervisor Spickerman asked the group if anyone has been to a fracking site. Ms. Kasper said she will be going soon. Supervisor Spickerman said some of the Board of Supervisors discussed going to Pennsylvania to tour fracking wells Mr. Micklem said t that fracking fluid contains water but also chemicals and water facilities do not have the capablitity to filter it. The town board thanked everybody for their comments about fracking.
Paul Eygnor asked if there is anything in town law about drainage. He has concerns about the tentative new building being built on the corner and the drainage going onto his property. Supervisor Spickerman said there will be environmental review. Don Camp, Code Enforcement Officer, said he informed the business about there being drainage problems.
Paul Eygnor also asked what is being done about the number of appeals board members. Councilman VanDeusen said it’s in the process of the comprehensive plan. They will be having a public hearing on the comprehensive plan soon. Paul Eygnor also asked the members can’t get paid for mandatory classes for the Board of Appeals board plus the mileage to go to them. Dave Soules said you need have four credits to be on the Appeals Board and the appeals board members need to take these classes every year. Mr. Soules also said if they don’t have enough members why go to these classes. He said they are required to have seven members but have five members right now. The town board discussed the hearing process and Councilman VanDeusen said this topic should have been put on the agenda. The town agreed to put this on next month’s meeting agenda.
The following departments submitted their monthly reports for review: the supervisor, town clerk, justices, code enforcement officer, animal control officer and assessor. The following departments read their report aloud: highway superintendent.
In Old Business, Supervisor Spickerman said he received a call from Randy Nodine about the town hall’s attic and is going to be submitting an estimate to re-insulate some heat ducts and areas of the attic that need it.
In New Business, Supervisor Spickerman gave a copy of a proposal for a new lease copier on county contract for the Town of Butler. The cost will be $85.00 a month compared to the old copier lease which was $98.00 a month. All were in favor
Supervisor Spickerman said the auditor suggested to adopt a rental resolution between Highway Town Outside Village and Highway Town Wide. Councilman VanGelder moved to adopt Resolution 1-11-2013, seconded by Councilman Everhart. All were in favor.
Supervisor Spickerman received a Dog Control Inspection Report from New York State Ag & Markets. There were a couple of deficiencies’ that were made. One was a paperwork misunderstanding and the other was the poundage fee. A poundage fee must be paid before the owner can pick up their dog from Dog Control. It is state law. These mistakes will be resolved.
In Other Business, Don Camp, Code Enforcement Officer, said he received an email from 911 Center about the crosses put on abandoned houses by code officials. The 911 Center wants the addresses for all of the abandoned houses for when fire departments are called for fire. This is for safety reasons.
Don Camp also said he feels strongly the town board should look into commercial regulations. Councilman VanDeusen said a company will have to submit plans to the town board as part of the comprehensive plan. Councilman Wagner said he feels the Town should have some basic regulations.
Don Camp said he went to a seminar about disaster preparedness. He said the town of Butler is not prepared. If a disaster strikes the town, the town government must be up and running within twenty four hours. He also said three people must be designated to make decisions. The town board and Mr. Camp discussed purchasing a generator for the town hall.
Councilman VanDeusen moved to have a public hearing on March 11, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. for the purpose of reviewing the Town of Butler’s Comprehensive Plan, seconded by Councilman Wagner. All were in favor. Councilman VanGelder moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:25 p.m., seconded by Councilman Everhart.