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Champion enacts electrical transmission moratorium

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CHAMPION — The Champion Town Council has approved a 180-day moratorium on construction of electrical transmission facilities.

Town Supervisor Terry L. Buckley said the law was enacted to give the board time to get zoning regulations in place to accommodate the proposed wind farm in Denmark.

“We are not trying to stop it, but to regulate it so it doesn’t affect residents in the town of Champion,” the supervisor said.

He said electrical lines would pass through the town en route to a substation in Burrville.

Board members also set a public hearing for 7:15 p.m. May 7 for consideration of Local Law No. 5 of 2012, which would create a 180-day moratorium on natural gas and/or petroleum extraction activities.

The board wants the moratorium to give it and the Planning Board time to study the issues and develop regulations if needed.

Mr. Buckley said these types of extraction activities are occurring all over the state and the town has “occurrences of the type of shale” in which natural gas may be found.

At its April meeting, the board also amended the town’s water use laws concerning water connections, disconnections and penalties.

Mr. Buckley said the law was enacted to “tighten up the use law to avoid cross connections.” He said that could involve two residents connecting to the same line or going from a well into the system, which could cause contamination.

The amendment states no permit for construction of any structure within a water district will be issued unless proof is provided that a provision has been made for connection to the public water supply.

The law also specifies no one can disconnect from the water service without permission and if a party disconnects in an “unauthorized manner,” the person will be “charged for water usage at a rate three times the previous six months average of use.”

After an improper disconnection from the water system, a town-authorized contractor would have to reconnect service at the property owner’s expense.

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