Legislator has unanswered questions regarding County Home gas well

MAYVILLE – Several questions regarding the gas well located on the Chautauqua County Home property remain unanswered.

The Chautauqua County Legislature’s Human Services Committee had invited County Executive Greg Edwards to speak on the topic of the gas well last week, following questions raised by Legislator Bob Whitney, D-Jamestown.

According to committee chairman Mark Tarbrake, R-Ellington, although he had planned at being at the meeting, Edwards had contacted him to say he would be unable to attend. In lieu of attending, Edwards sent a letter regarding the gas well, which Tarbrake read aloud.

Edwards’ letter indicated there has been no change in the status of the gas well over the last year. He said the well is awaiting the final decision on the future of the County Home.

“If the legislature approves the sale of the County Home, no further work will need to be done, and we will have avoided spending approximately $120,000 of county dollars that has zero return to the county,” Edwards’ letter read.

If the sale of the home is not approved, the letter continued, a local well-driller will be approached to see if he will be willing to install the necessary equipment to attach the well to the County Home, at no cost to the taxpayers.

Whitney, who is not a member of the Human Services Committee, expressed he was dissatisfied with the answer provided in the letter.

“For the record, I wanted a history of why the well was ever drilled, what the total cost was, what the purpose was for drilling the well, if we get reimbursement,” he said. “That’s what my question was, because that’s the question that’s getting asked of me.”

Whitney also expressed he had been unable to find the answers in past resolutions, and had only been able to find a resolution abandoning the well.

Edwards’ letter indicated he would be willing to meet with the committee at a later date to answer any outstanding questions. A later date was not suggested at the meeting.

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