Park water off limits for fracking

LISBON – Village Council turned down a request by a drilling company that wanted to use Willow Grove Park to take water from the Little Beaver Creek for fracking a nearby well.

Council voted at this week’s meeting to deny the request of the Hilcorp Energy Corp., which has a permit to drill a horizontal well on the Ramsey farm just west of the village in Center Township.

A Hilcorp representative attended the September council meeting to say they wanted to secure an easement agreement from the village to run a pipeline from the creek and across the park property to the well site, where it would be used as part of the drilling process known as fracking.

A proposed lease was passed on to council last month. It was for 300 feet at $3 a foot, or a one-time fee of $900. Council President Roger Gallo was unimpressed by the offer and recommended it be rejected.

“I don’t think it was a serious offer,” especially since Hilcorp was not interested in leasing village-owned property, he said.

Council member Joe Morenz said he was concerned about the disruption at the park caused by the pipeline and the sound of water being pumped from the creek. “People go to the park don’t want to hear ‘rrrrr’,” he said.

The vote to deny the request was unanimous.

Pete Conkle from the Columbiana County Water Conservation District told council last month each drilling site can accommodate six to eight wells, and it takes millions of gallons of water to frack each well to release the oil and gas captured in the shale deposits.

In other action, council:

– Agreed to hold a community clean-up day on May 3, with Gallo to obtain some estimates from local waste haulers for council to act on at the April meeting. The event was last held in 2012 and cost the village about $9,000.

-Accepted the resignation of part-time police officer Daric K. Wise Jr., who has taken a part-time job with the Salem police department. Meanwhile, council hired Richard B. Glidden of Kent and Matthew S. Cochran of East Liverpool as part-time police officers.

Council member Cheryl Mills took a moment to take note of the passing of former council member Bob Sheehan, who died recently. “He was a good councilman and a good guy,” she said.

Her sentiments were echoed by Council member Jeff Snyder, who was mayor when Sheehan was on council.