Town Board gives final approval to moratorium on mining

TAGHKANIC–The Town Board officially adopted a new local law this week imposing a nine-month moratorium on new mining applications. The board also voted not to cede Reservoir Road to the City of Hudson.

The board took the actions Monday, March 1, at its regular monthly meeting held at the Taghkanic Firehouse.

Local Law #1 of 2010 of the Town of Taghkanic suspends all new mining activity for nine months while the town amends its zoning code to straighten out a discrepancy. The vote was unanimous, with Supervisor Elizabeth Young recusing herself because she lives near the proposed mine site. Councilwoman Carolyn Sammons, who has recused herself in the past, was absent on Monday.

Adoption of the moratorium means the town Zoning Board o Appeals will table further hearings on a mining application and a nearby daycare center proposal until the moratorium expires.

The board will now delegate the task of recommending a solution to the zoning problem to a new, nine-person zoning commission.

Also at the meeting, the Town Board announced the appointment of two new members of the Planning Board, Kathy Bainer and Steven Kling. They will fill the seats held by John Roberts and Jeff Tallackson.

Highway Superintendent Tom Youhas took issue with a statement made by Hudson Superintendent of Public Works Robert W. Perry Jr. that the Town of Taghkanic had agreed to trade Reservoir Road for a fire hydrant . Mr. Youhas said that state law makes it illegal for a town to abandon a road that gets more than two vehicles traveling down it per. He received a round of enthusiastic applause from residents.

Board member Richard Skoda agreed that a road for a hydrant is not an equal trade, but he said that the town still needs a hydrant and should try to negotiate for one.

At the hearing on the moratorium on mining applications held before the regular town board meeting began, Allison Bennett spoke about her mining application and distributed copies of a five-page letter written by her lawyer to the Town Board.

Ms. Bennett told reporters that she has no previous experience running a gravel mine but has chosen to enter the business because she has a degree in environmental science and forestry from Paul Smith College. “I like earth science, and gravel is a renewable resource,” she said.

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