The Town of Fenton is prepared to start over with a new process to approve a natural gas transfer station. A Broome County Supreme Court Judge halted the project this week.
The judge said the town didn’t follow the proper safety and environmental procedures when it approved the application from NG Advantage, a natural gas delivery company. But he did open the door for the company to reapply. NG indicates it plans to do so.
Residents, a church and the Chenango Valley Central School District brought the lawsuits. They were concerned about the site’s proximity to a school and a park, as well as the impact of truck traffic.
Dave Hamlin, Fenton Town Supervisor, said he expects the planning board to approve the project once again. But Hamlin isn’t so sure NG Advantage can win over some residents. “There are a few people who have the mindset that no matter what they say, they’re against it,” Hamlin said.
Hamlin said the town will make sure to inform the public more about any new hearings. But he’s concerned about non-residents showing up to meetings. "One of the problems we do have is when this group comes in, they’re not all from the Town of Fenton. They’re from the Village of Port Dick. They’re from the Town of Chenango," Hamlin said. "Our concern as a town board is our Town of Fenton residents."
The Village of Port Dickinson and the Town of Chenango are in the Chenango Valley School District, which has schools in the Town of Fenton.
In a statement on the district's website, Chenango Valley Superintendent David Gill said the planning board failed to follow the correct procedure when it approved the application.
"We look forward to participating in future consideration of the project on a resubmitted application, where we will make every effort to ensure a careful review of the impacts to the students, families, and staff of Chenango Valley Central School District," he added.
In a statement, NG’s CEO said the decision was against the town’s approval process, not the company, the project, or the location of the site.
*This story has been edited to include a statement from Chenango Valley Superintendent David Gill