Youngstown council agrees to seek offers for drilling on city land

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

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