Salem looks at proposal for water

By Amanda C. Davis


The city is trying to take advantage of its ample water supply by negotiating its sale for oil- and gas-well drilling.

A proposal has been presented to the city by LBG Land Services that wants to resell city water to drilling companies. LBG’s proposed two-year contract seeks 200,000 to 300,000 gallons of water per day at a cost of $10 per 1,000 gallons.

Mayor Jerry Wolford said profits would be split between the city’s general fund to cover its expenses and the rest would go to the city’s Utilities Commission water fund.

He also said there may be other companies that wish to buy water from the city as drilling gets under way. He said he’s also been told it takes 4 million to 5 million gallons of water to drill a well.

“We’re very fortunate to have a good water supply,” he said, adding that the surplus provides an extra revenue stream for Salem.

According to its website, LBG Land Services, which has a Youngstown office, helps the oil and gas industry obtain water for drilling, fracking and exploration projects in the Marcellus and Utica shale region.

A company representative was unavailable to comment at press time.

Council also is trying to change the way solicitors and vendors operate in the city. Legislation was introduced earlier this week to establish a $400 permit fee for individuals or companies that sell items such as encyclopedias door to door. The permit would be good for a year.

Individuals or companies that set up shop to sell items such as rugs or flowers on street corners and in parking lots will be required to obtain a $150 permit that will be good for six months. Vendors who sell items within the city at places such as churches or the Elks Lodge will need a $150 permit that expires Dec. 31. The ordinance says sales can occur between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. or sunset, whichever comes first.

Charity and political organizations are exempt. All others can apply for a permit in the zoning office in city hall.

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