This is a letter written by Sandra Davis on July 4th to her local legislators stating her reasons she wants to secede from New York to Pennsylvania.
Today is Independence Day, the day our great nation became free to govern itself, by the people for the people…or so we think!
My name is Sandra Davis. I have been a resident of New York State pretty much all my life. I was born here, I grew up on a dairy farm in Delaware county and I currently reside five miles from my family’s farm. It was my choice to start a family here, but I do not want to continue to raise my children here.
The area that I love and call home has been condemned to poverty by Albany and the City of New York. If only I did not have to physically leave my home, I could just secede to Pennsylvania, which at this point has so much more to offer my family. Of course I am not arriving empty handed we have 55 acres with mineral rights.
There are many factors to my wanting to move my family out of New York. First and foremost, we can’t afford to stay here without opportunities to grow. My husband is the bread winner in our household. He is a member of Empire Sate Carpenters Local #277. He is a hardworking, dedicated man who does everything he can to support us. Usually he is home every night for me and our three boys even if it requires him to drive 2 hours each way for work.
Soon, it will not be that simple for him to come home at night, and he will most likely be in other areas of NY and, just to support us, will have to stay in hotels for weeks at a time. But, all of us will make this sacrifice because we have no choice if we wish to survive in New York State. The southern tier has nothing left to offer; it is a dying area full of vacant buildings and poverty stricken people.
Albany is my next reason for wanting to get out of New York State. “Emperor” Cuomo, as he is called by many who suffer from his inability to listen to the upstate public he also serves, is corrupt. His corruption is out of control and now with Joe Martens resigning from the DEC the day after they announced a temporary ban on fracking I know the corruption runs deep.
Seeing that Martens is leaving makes me wonder whether it was all arranged five years ago when Cuomo came into office. They have been stringing the landowners along all this time, even as he came into office saying he would let science decide. Now, it is totally clear his political agenda was and continues to be more important than any amount of science. This, is not to more than briefly mention his back door dealings with the NY Safe Act, restricting our 2nd amendment rights.
The antis want us to think it’s about the water, but it is not just about the water. No, it is about the land, taxes, school enrollments, and the financial devastation that this taking has created. Delaware County is the home of the Cannonsville Reservoir. This may sound like a nice place to live near, but it comes with its own challenges and costs to our community. When the reservoir was established in 1965 to supply New York City with drinking water they had to demolish several towns. This included moving nine cemeteries, all for New York City to have water, while Delaware County was left carrying the burden for making a living here.
Today, we still feel the effects of the reservoir being placed here. We cannot use the reservoir for recreation without overcoming extreme hurdles because it flows to New York City unfiltered. This means we receive few to none of the benefits of its intrusion on our community. We especially feel the pinch in property taxes, as the destruction of villages for its construction left a void in the tax base of the county.
Now, after everything we have sacrificed for New York City, we are told that, because we live near its watershed, our property may not be leased or developed for natural gas because of the proposed 4,000 ft. set-back in the SGEIS for the reservoir and now the ban that is in place for the moment. Let me tell you that NOTHING about the relationship between our two communities is fair and this latest act only manages to worsen the situation, allowing the City to further gorge itself on our property rights. The residents of Delaware County have been asked to sacrifice enough!
If the DEC wants to stop us from utilizing our minerals, it must compensate us for our carrying this burden for New York City. It is only right that, if I can’t develop my resources due to the City’s needs, than it should be a cost New York City must bear. Consider the losses to my family alone. First, there is the up-front cost of what I stand to lose from not being able to lease my land, which is $137,500, using the very conservative figure of $2,500 per acre that is less than half what some of my neighbors received.
There is, in addition, an estimated total of $1.5 million per year connected with royalties that will be lost (assuming a royalty of 12.5%, at $3 per cubic foot wellhead price and 0.2 million cubic feet per day) for the acreage that we own that might conceivably be part of a production unit, according to a royalty calculator on Geology.com. As you can see, at even a fraction of this estimate, there is a lot that we stand to lose because of New York City, and a lot that Pennsylvania stands to gain.
This doesn’t even take into account all the sacrifice we have already given to the City. And to pour salt in the wound, the City that freely takes our water also supports the corruption in Albany by keeping Cuomo in office.
I decided to move back to New York in 2003 and set my roots here with my husband. We bought our home and started a family here. But, for us to remain in our home, there will have to be some serious changes made. Secession is the only way out at this point, taking into consideration the corruption of Albany and the impact of New York City on our area.
Drill safely now!