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Youngstown council agrees to seek offers for drilling on city land



Published: Wed, October 17, 2012 @ 7:08 p.m.

YOUNGSTOWN

Despite some debate and heated discussions, city council approved an ordinance by a 5-2 vote today permitting the city to seek offers from companies to lease city-owned land for gas and oil drilling.

But the city first needs to resolve various issues such as title searches and land restrictions before it can start the process of finding a company, said city Finance Director David Bozanich.

That could take six to eight months, though an exact timeline isn’t yet known, he said.

Some council members wanted the city to wait until a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency progress report on fracking was finished before moving ahead with this plan.

The study’s first progress report is planned for late this year.

But that did little to change the positions of the nearly 50 people at council’s meeting who oppose drilling.

Some said they plan to get signatures on petitions to overturn council’s decision on drilling for either the May 2013 election or a special election before that date.

For the complete story, read Thursday’s Vindicator or Vindy.com


Comments

1UticaShale(847 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

The City did a good thing today, it is leading its citizens to harvest their minerals and see production from their lands.
Unfortunately, Hilcorp and Chesapeake, the only energy companies leasing in the inner City redlined the City months ago. Will they return now that the City leaders want them back? Most likely not until the County and City clean up Yemma's landbank and get it moving for once in a meaningful way.

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2GeorgeinYoungstown(75 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

Youngstown has decided to sell it's soul to the highest bidder. The Mayor & City Council have decided to place short term gain over the long term health and safety of our community.

All across this city, from the North Side to the South, to the East and the West Sides, groups of citizens are working to build sustainable neighborhoods, just as many other cities across the nation are doing. Community gardens, orchards, green spaces, bioremediation projects, are all either already a reality, or in the works. Scores of similar efforts are growing around the nation. The Mayor & City Council have no idea how much they've harmed these efforts in our City.

For better or worse, in our new social media world, word will travel fast about this decision, and the country will soon view Youngstown as, once again, a joke - settling for the quick, easy buck, instead of being a serious, thoughtful player in the post-industrial economy.

Instead of building on these efforts, and becoming a major player in the new economy, the Mayor & City Council have decided to take a step back into the 19th Century. Instead of striving to be at the forefront of this burgeoning movement - with its concomitant hi-tech benefits - they've decided to turn to the fleeting, illusory and ultimately destructive boom/bust cycle of the shale industry.

What is troubling is that our city leaders failed to live up to their responsibilities as defenders of the public health and safety. If they had done their due diligence, names like Dish, TX, Pavillion, WY, and Dimock, PA, would be common knowledge to them. They would have commissioned a cost/benefit analysis that would show that urban drilling will suppress property values, reduce the chances of securing mortgages in drilling areas, and would see that homeowners could not sell their property in these areas. They would understand the higher costs required for road repair, haz mat and other emergency services.

But what is most troubling to this citizen is the message the Mayor & City Council is sending to our young people - those who we're trying to keep away from a life of crime, violence, and gangs - and the lure of the easy dollar.

In the words of the Mayor, "We didn't invent this - EVERYBODY IS DOING IT!" (He was referring to surrounding communities like Campbell and Struthers, and individual landowners in the City, who are leasing their mineral rights.)

Is this the example we want to give to our young people? That since "everyone is doing it," it must, by definition, be the right thing to do - no matter what the long term consequences?

"Go ahead, take the easy money, because - afterall - "Everyone is doing it!?"

Not in my name do the Mayor & City Council send this message to our young people.

Not in my name can the Mayor & City Council any longer plead ignorance to the ramifications of their decision.

And not in my name do the Mayor & City Council sell our Cities Soul to the highest bidder!

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3madison2011(88 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

this is our 2010 plan ...lots of hype with that what did we get money pit..

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4uselesseater(229 comments)posted 1 year, 6 months ago

@GeorgeInYoungstown,

I couldn't say it better and totally agree.

Just wait until the drillers start undermining the city. New hazards, new property issues and surely no relief to the tax paying citizens.

Drilling has it's place: on multi acre tracts all owned by same owner with adequate distance and consideration for abutting neighbor owners.

I'd like to see where all this natural gas is headed. Know for a fact additional production of gasoline is being shipped out to foreign markets to the highest bidder.

The net positive impact with these resource deals is to the resource companies. The localities are left with ruined roads, long term environmental issues, fracked water, questionable retention ponds, etc.

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