MONTOUR FALLS -- U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is looking into federal funding to provide experts who can advise Southern Tier landowners about contracts for natural gas exploration and drilling rights.

"It does happen that people get taken advantage of," Schumer, D-N.Y., said when the issue came up Wednesday during a town hall meeting at the Schuyler County Human Services Complex. About 50 people attended, including many local government officials.

"We want to make sure that people are not taken advantage of, and one of the things that comes out of this town hall meeting here is maybe we can get some federal help for a couple of professionals.

"Anyone who is approached by a gas company could call up, and they would make sure the contract is good," he said.

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