The Delaware County town of Sidney will hold a public hearing on the town's proposed moratorium on gas drilling and heavy industry tonight (February 9) at 7pm, at the Sidney Civic Center on 21 Liberty Street.
Gas drilling has been a contentious issue throughout the region. But it has been particularly fierce in Sidney, where an October 2011 meeting in which the town board voted to allow a gas pipeline to be built erupted in chaos. The pipeline will supply gas to a manufacturing plant operated by Amphenol, the county's largest employer, and its supporters claimed that building it was critical to keep Amphenol from relocating elsewhere.
Last November, several incumbent town officials were trounced in the polls by anti-gas-drilling candidates, in an election that sparked record turnout in the small town. (Gas drilling was not the only contentious issue in Sidney: The town's current supervisor, Bob McCarthy, has become a controversial and divisive figure in the wake of his nationally-publicized efforts to shut down a small cemetery run by a Sufi Muslim religious group in the town.)
In short: Tonight's meeting promises to be a hot one.
Update, 5:30pm: The Watershed Post has obtained a copy of a draft law for the town of Sidney, prepared by town attorney Joe Ermeti. See below.