VESTAL -- For the second time in four days, a small energy company from Denver found itself at the center of a controversial hearing in Broome County.

Nearly 60 people crammed into Vestal Town Hall for a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting on whether the town should allow the construction of a natural gas metering station that would measure and depressurize gas before connecting with NYSEG pipelines. The station would require a special permit because it would be located along Owego Road near the Vestal Parkway, a residential area.

MegaEnergy, a Colorado-based oil and gas company, was named as the applicant on the permit, but it was the company's business partner that showed up at the hearing: Inflection Energy.

Inflection had offered Broome County a $16 million signing bonus and 20 percent royalties for drilling rights to 5,610 acres of county land, but County Executive Barbara J. Fiala rejected the deal Tuesday after the public spoke against the deal at a hearing the day before and several legislators withdrew their support.

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