The Aurora Town Board will not take a position on Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposal to ban natural gas-powered appliances in new buildings.
Residents who back Hochul’s proposal spoke during a meeting on Monday, Feb. 27.
Officials pulled a resolution opposing the governor’s plan from the agenda. All 14 residents who spoke urged the board not to pass the resolution.
After the meeting, Supervisor James Bach emphasized that the board will never vote on the issue.
“We decided to listen but not give our opinions,” he said.
Board members plan to send residents’ comments to state legislators who represent the town. They also encouraged residents to contact state legislators.
A Main Street resident stressed he pays less using solar and electric energy.
“I save money every time my solar panels produce power,” said Eric Carlson, who switched his stove from natural gas to electricity, drives an electric vehicle and will soon use a heat pump for his water heater.
He urged everyone to combat global warming.
“If you are against Governor Hochul’s plan, that’s fine, but you have to do something else,” he said.
Another resident asserted natural gas-powered appliances harm the environment and human health.
“Burning of fossil fuels has been connected to heart disease, respiratory disease, strokes and makes us more vulnerable to all different communicable diseases, which costs New Yorkers millions of dollars every year,” said Nicole Morris-McLaughlin of Girard Avenue.
She added natural gas-powered appliances will cost more in the long term.
“This will be expensive if we do not act,” she said.
In another matter, the board approved changing the chess program to a summer chess camp. The Buffalo Chess Association has partnered with the Parks and Recreation Department to offer the camp for four hours a day from July 25 to July 29 in the Aurora Municipal Center’s Recreation Department classroom.
Open to boys and girls from kindergarten to eighth grade, the camp will cost $150 for town residents and $160 for residents outside the town.
Registration will begin on April 3 for town residents and April 17 for others. Parents may register at www.aurorarec.com or by visiting the Parks and Recreation Department in the municipal center at 575 Oakwood Ave.
No chess experience is necessary.
In other matters, the board:
- Appointed Stephen Pigeon as a temporary second assessor. He will start on March 13 at $38.46 per hour.
- Gave Mike and Nick Inglefinger, Highway Department employees, the additional duties of inspecting fuel tanks in the Highway Department and gas wells at Majors Park. They will be paid an extra 50 cents per hour.
- Authorized a $4,367.12 payment to Frey Heavy Duty in Cheektowaga to replace a part on a snowplow truck.
- Adopted a local law to raise the maximum annual income eligibility for the disabled with limited incomes to receive a real property tax exemption
- Adopted a local law to increase the maximum annual income eligibility for military veterans to receive a real property tax exemption.
No one spoke during the public hearings about the laws. Details may be viewed on the town government’s website at www.townofaurora.com.
The town board will meet again on Monday, March 13 at 6:30 p.m.
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