The Danbury Town Council is debating how to support other local government entities in their battle against potential fracking operations in the county.
“If it happened in Stokes County it would affect Danbury tourism and if we think it is bad for Stokes County then it is probably bad for Danbury,” said Councilman Steve Shelton, noting that he felt the town should pass a resolution opposing fracking. “It would be another second from another municipality in Stokes County saying we don’t want it.”
The council agreed during their regular meeting last Wednesday that the town did not need to go as far as the county or Walnut Cove in trying to establish a moratorium on fracking.
“There is no chance they would be fracking in Danbury,” said Shelton. “But from a political standpoint it would be good to stand with the county on the issue.”
Bank Street turned over to county
The Council also unanimously agreed to give Stokes County ownership of Bank Street.
Town Administrator Mike Barsness said the decision stemmed from upcoming construction to expand the Stokes County Arts Council facility.
“We are going to have a street that runs through the middle of a county complex,” he said. “Why does the town really need to maintain Bank Street? Why can’t we resolve to give maintenance and ownership responsibility to the county?”
He said the county had agreed to accept ownership of the street and had promised in the transfer to make sure the street is always open to provide an egress route from Camping Island Road.
Council debates parade
Shelton asked the council to consider setting some rules and guidelines for the annual Stokes Stomp parade to help ensure safety in coming years.
“There needs to be some dialogue between the town and the Arts Council concerning the parade every year,” he said. “They cannot just wash their hands of the parade and have the parade still happen and we want the parade to still happen. I just think we need to protect the town from a liability issue.”
Barsness questioned why the town sponsored the parade in the first place.
“Why is it not sponsored by a club or a chamber of commerce?” he asked. “Usually it is the non-profits that tend to sponsor parades and put them on their insurance. The League of Municipalities frowns on towns or cities being the primary sponsor. Should we be building rules and regulations or should we be looking for a sponsor?”
“The town sponsors it because the Arts Council did not want to do the parade,” said Shelton, noting that Arts Council resources are already busy at the time organizing the Stokes Stomp.
Barsness noted that any rules or regulations created for the parade in future years needed to find a balance between common sense safety rules and becoming too bureaucratic. The council will continue the discussion at a future meeting.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.