The Putnam Examiner

Kent Passes Mining Moratorium

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The Kent Town Board unanimously passed a mining moratorium during its March 3 meeting.

“I get excited when the entire town comes out to make us do our job, and I think that was the case with this one,” said Councilman Paul Denbaum.

Residents began pushing for some sort of town code regarding mining when a developer proposed building a campus on Route 52 to include two hotels, a conference center and a truck stop. As part of the proposal, the developer would have to dig down 180 feet.

While the truck stop portion of the proposal has been withdrawn, the hotels and conference center are moving forward, with new retail space added to the plan.

“We have worked very hard on this,” said Councilman Christopher Ruthven during the vote. “It’s been an important topic to our town.”

Echoing a sentiment expressed by Councilwoman Jamie McGlasson that “I don’t think our work is done yet,” Ruthven said passage of the moratorium is just one step in a bigger process to create a mining section in the town code.

“We as town officials have to be vigilant to not let time slip by,” he said.

Supervisor Maureen Fleming explained that the board tried to put a mining code together rather quickly late last year, but it was the public that suggested a moratorium to halt the current proposal while lawmakers could put together proper legislation.

“People did their homework and they came and they gave us documentation, and they gave us sites, and they made really cogent presentations up there at the lectern as to why this made sense,” she said.  “As Paul said – it’s our job, and we listened. So I, too, want to thank the public for steering us in this direction.”

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