A classic example of Not-In-My-Backyard, (NIMBY) is evident concerning the proposed natural gas compressor station in the Town of Fenton. An active rail line runs through this area, transporting all sorts of explosive, corrosive and poisonous materials continually, every day. A major interstate highway runs along side this area accommodating thousands of trucks carrying explosive, corrosive and poisonous materials traversing the area continually, every day. If safety is really the issue, where is the fear of these already ongoing activities? Until a few years ago, the Hillcrest Federal Depot stored a wide host of military goods and supplies right in the heart of that neighborhood and nary a word about safety. Not 300 yards from this proposed facility, a petroleum product distribution company already exists with many trucks delivering all kinds of fuels all over the area. And what about the countless convenience stores everywhere, with thousands of gallons of gasoline directly beneath our feet.
This project creates 150 local jobs. The pipe is already here, it is in the ground. The company complied with all of the rules and regulations in making this business decision and the legal permits were sought after and obtained. For those of us with a good memory, you’ll recall the former Port Dickinson mayor Wilfley fought the placement of this pipeline hammer and tong, claiming the Port Dickinson Park would be dangerous and ruined. That was all false hysteria.
On what authority did the Chenango Valley School District decide, on behalf of taxpayers, that this was an issue worth suing over? Did the Board of Education survey the taxpayers? What about those of us that actually think this is a good idea? I live in Port Dickinson and I support this project. Not only did the school board exceed and abuse their authority, they saw fit to hire a law firm from Albany, thereby taking taxpayer money out of the area for a fight we shouldn’t be waging. How much does this cost taxpayers?
NG Advantage made available a free tour bus that took concerned people from the area up to a similar site in Vermont, in order to demonstrate what that facility looks like when in full operation, and to address concerns and questions. Only 12 individuals chose to take this trip yet scores of lawn signs indicating opposition to the project are overwhelmingly prevalent throughout the area. It is abundantly clear that people have made up their minds in the absence of all of the available information because they don’t want or need the truth; they simply don’t want it in their neighborhood, period.
The next time these same NIMBY people complain about the depressive state of New York, the lack of jobs, opportunity, and the “brain drain” we see as our kids seek friendlier environs by voting with their feet, remember, it is just this kind of narrow-mined mentality that largely defines what is wrong with New York State.