Gas companies have tried to use the state’s de facto moratorium as just cause to extend gas leases beyond their primary term. In a victory for landowners, the recent force majeure decision in Binghamton shot that down. But generally it is still up to landowners to officially terminate their gas leases and clear the land records at the end of the primary term.
Even landowners who are not in an active gas lease are realizing that they need to check their deed papers to verify if there was ever a gas lease on their property. If a gas lease — even decades-old — is not properly released by the gas company and filed as such at the county clerk’s office, it remains a liability to the current landowner. How many of us purchased our properties with assurances from our lawyers that a filed affidavit — from the previous landowner stating that the gas lease expired on its own terms — would suffice? These affidavits have no legal effect. Many of us are in this situation and are unaware of the steps necessary to obtain an official surrender from the gas company, pursuant to NY General Obligations Law, Section 15-304.
To help landowners understand their rights, geologist Ellen Harrison and Attorney Joseph Heath, of Fleased.org, will present an informational forum on gas lease issues. FLEASED FORUM will take place on Thursday, March 14, at 6:30 p.m., at United Church of Christ, 11 West Main St., in Norwich. It is free and open to the public.
TREP$ a success thanks to many
The fourth annual 2013 TREP$ Marketplace was successful thanks to support from parents, volunteers, teachers, administrators and our community.
The award-winning “TREP$,” is taken from the word entrepreneurs and it was created to teach students the basics about starting a business. The program meets after school for six sessions and culminates in a flea-market style TREP$ Marketplace where the students launch their own business! This year’s marketplace offered jewelry, candies, candles, journals, glassware, tie-dye shirts, trivets, stress balls, photography, shower timers, iPod cases, seltzer, soap, car services, cards and even plant fertilizer.