Deadline nears to sign up to sound off on fracking in Youngstown parks

Deadline nears to sign up to sound off on fracking in Youngstown parks

Staff report


The city doesn’t have plans to lease park land to companies for oil and gas drilling, but its parks and recreation commission will take comments from the public about the issue.

The commission is having the special meeting at 5 p.m Nov. 27 on the sixth floor of city hall. The deadline for residents register to speak is Tuesday by 4 p.m. Anyone interested in addressing the commission must fill out a speaker form, in the park office on the first floor of city hall.

“Some community members had concerns about fracking, but it won’t be done in our parks,” said Robert Burke, park and recreation director. “Our parks will be preserved.”

City council gave the board of control approval on Oct. 17 to move ahead with a plan to solicit offers from companies to lease city-owned land for fracking. The proceeds are to be used for neighborhood improvement work, primarily demolitions.

If the city does proceed with the plan, it wouldn’t seek proposals until the middle of next year at the earliest.

“Right now, I wouldn’t be in favor of any fracking in parks,” said Mayor Charles Sammarone. “But if the city has the chance to make a zillion dollars, we’d have to re-evaluate.”

The meeting is an opportunity for citizens to voice their opinions about their rights and beliefs about park lands, said Susie Beiersdorfer, a member of Frackfree Mahoning Valley.

Several citizens from the group plan on speaking to the parks commission and presenting information about actions other communities have taken to ban fracking.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on

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