Tabling the Moratorium

By Matt Hicks
By Erika Mahoney

December 11, 2012 Updated Dec 12, 2012 at 9:54 AM EST

Village of Oxford, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Village of Oxford could become the first in Chenango County to put a hold on natural gas drilling.

But now, residents will have to wait a little longer. The village board has tabled the measure.

Village leaders tell us because the issue is so controversial; they want to take their time with the decision.

In fact, there was such a strong interest in tonight's meeting; it was moved to a bigger auditorium at Oxford Middle School, where there were strong opinions expressed on both sides of the issue.

"We already have village zoning against natural gas to begin with, so putting a moratorium in is just a redundant step to a state moratorium," said Bryant Latourette, who said he welcomes safe drilling.

"This is a beautiful town, beautiful country, and if hydrofracking comes here, it will destroy that way of life," said Mina Takahashi, an organic farmer against drilling.

But no matter how they feel about the debate, residents agree talks of a potential moratorium have divided their community.

Village leaders said they will be looking closely at the issue over the next few days.