Monterey Town Council Meets
The Monterey Town Council held it’s first regular meeting in it’s new location at the town offices on Fleisher Street Thursday evening. As with the Highland Board of Supervisors meeting earlier in the week, a major topic of discussion was Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Monterey resident Katie Gwinn presented the council with a book detailing the results of her survey regarding public opinion on the pipeline. It contains the responses and commentary from over 460 participants. Mayor Rich Holman praised Ms Gwinn’s work on the project. He went on to further state that while he felt the council was not prepared to take a position on the pipeline as a body, he wanted to state he was “opposed to the project for both personal and professional reasons.” Professionally, he is concerned about threats to the town’s water supply.
When questioned whether this was due to concerns of potential fracking in the area in the future, Holman clarified that he had not heard of any such plans. His fears were that ground disturbance during the construction could potentially affect the streams which feed the town’s wells, resulting in loss of water for the residents. In follow up conversation with Allegheny Mountain Radio, Mayor Holman indicated he had attended two Dominion open houses, both here and in Durbin, to question Dominion officials on whether they had contingency plans if a situation like this occurred, and only received vague and unsatisfactory answers. He urged council members to inform themselves on the project as best they could.
In other business, it was noted that a review of the budget has indicated that the town’s water and sewer rates may have to be adjusted in the future. No action can be taken on this matter until public hearings are held, to allow council to explain the need for this and garner feedback.
Chamber of Commerce executive director Tiffany White updated the council on plans to install signage to better direct pass through traffic to the stores and eating establishments in town.
Mayor Holman also reported that the county recycling trailer is now on a schedule to be parked on the town lot beside the Recorder building on Walnut Street. The trailer will be there on the second Tuesday and Wednesday of the month for the next three months. Holman noted that this arrangement was made for convenience for residents who had had issues getting recycling to the county collection site. This is a pilot program to gauge usage, so he urged residents take advantage of this to ensure it remains on the schedule in the future.