Thursday, March 22, 2012
Council president said there will be no further delays.
Highland Heights City Council will decide Tuesday the fate of a proposed lease for two gas wells in the city's park, Council President Cathy Murphy said. About 200 people – some having to wait outside of the packed council chambers – attended the March 13 meeting in anticipation of a final vote. However, the matter was pulled from the agenda because council wanted to explore concerns about wetlands. Murphy had announced the delay prior to that meeting, but word had not reached some residents who expected the issue to be settled that night. She said there will definitely be a vote on the lease on March 27. "I want the residents to be able to know what we're doing," Murphy said. It's still unclear if the same sites will be proposed or if the…
Friday, March 16, 2012
Highland Heights meeting wasn't a debate, so we created one.
Highland Heights City Council heard from a lot of concerned residents who do not want two gas wells drilled in the city's park. They had many questions about water contamination, earthquakes and the safety of wells, but no one provided answers. So we presented those concerns to Bill Hlavin, president of Bass Energy, and Amy Feran, spokesman for Love Our Green Space. Is there a risk of earthquakes? This question comes from recent stories about a drilling operation in Youngstown suspected of causing earthquakes. The state created new rules for wastewater-injection sites as a result. "That's a big disposal well. That's nothing like what we do," Hlavin said. Hlavin said the jury's still out, but reports that the well operation caused …
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Council delayed vote on proposed lease to consider wetlands issue.
Highland Heights officials planned to vote on a proposed gas well lease Tuesday night, but decided more discussion was needed concerning potential wetlands in the city park. An overflow crowd of more than 150 residents gave them a lot of other issues to consider. Many attended in response to a flier circulated by Amy Feran and Love Our Green Space, which ran a petition drive in 2008 for a charter amendment to prohibit park land from being sold or leased without voter approval. That amendment was approved by 73 percent of voters, but city legal counsel John O'Neill said it does not apply retroactively to the lease that had already been signed. Several residents reminded city officials of that charter amendment and were surprised that gas …
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Council will not be voting on matter tonight.
Highland Heights City Council will not be voting on a proposed gas well lease at tonight's meeting. Although that was the plan, officials have decided to delay a vote while they explore some concerns brought up at a public hearing last week. "The reason we're not voting tonight is that there are some concerns about the wetlands issue," Council President Cathy Murphy said. The proposed lease with Bass Energy calls for two gas wells in Highland Heights Community Park, one near the tennis courts and parking lot and another in the back of the park, behind the old pool house. Last week, a resident noted that a 2006 report states there are wetlands in the park, although the exact location was not delineated. Murphy said there's no question that …
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Bass Energy owner says problems have been with larger, directional wells.
Updated 6:30 p.m. March 9 – Ken Messenger-Rapport notified Council President Cathy Murphy that he made an incorrect interpretation regarding potential monetary damages. Several Highland Heights residents aren't ready to concede that gas wells will be built in the city's park. At a meeting Tuesday night, they questioned representatives from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources about the safety and inspection of wells, including concerns about explosions and chemicals infiltrating the water supply. "My understanding is that there's no way of remediating the water once it's been contaminated," said Ken Messenger-Rapport, treasurer of Friends of Euclid Creek. He added that settling the $7 million breach of contract lawsuit filed by Bass …
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
ODNR representatives will answer questions about the drilling process.
Highland Heights residents didn't want to wait for a public hearing to voice opposition to a proposal to lease two gas wells in the city's park. A public hearing on the matter will be at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 6 at City Hall. Council President Cathy Murphy said two representatives from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will attend to answer questions about gas wells and the drilling process. "It's really a question and answer for residents who are concerned and have questions about the gas well drilling process," she said. Murphy added that no decision has been made and a vote on the lease isn't expected to be taken until at least March 13. The proposal is an attempt to settle a $7 million lawsuit filed by Bass Energy in 2008, after …
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Move toward more regulation in recent years.
City officials told to respect wishes of those who voted for 2008 charter amendment.
Residents told Highland Heights officials they don't want to have two gas wells in the city's park, even if it means paying off a lawsuit. A proposal to lease two gas wells to Bass Energy was on the agenda at Tuesday's council meeting. The plan is an attempt to settle a $7 million lawsuit filed by Bass Energy in 2008, after the city tried to back out of a gas well lease. Sean Milroy reminded city officials that residents had their say on the issue in November 2008, when a charter amendment prohibiting park land from being sold or leased without voter approval passed with 73 percent of the vote. "The people of Highland Heights voted for the preservation of park land," Milroy said. "You're not allowed to do that, the people have spoken. If …
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Deal would settle lawsuit filed by Bass Energy.
Highland Heights city officials are considering legislation to allow two gas wells to be installed in the city's park. The proposal is on the agenda for today's 8 p.m. City Council meeting, but no vote will be taken tonight. "We will have three full readings, plus two committee of the whole meetings," said Council President Cathy Murphy, adding that the legislation will likely come up for a final vote on March 13. "Absolutely it will not be voted on before that," she said. The proposal is in response to a $7 million lawsuit filed by Bass Energy on July 18, 2008, after the city tried to back out of a gas well lease that had been signed by Mayor Scott Coleman. A Common Pleas Court judge had ruled that the mayor did not have authority to sign…
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Resident concerned about carcinogens, danger of drilling.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Please, members of City Council and Mayor Coleman, I do not want gas wells in the city park. I do not want carcinogenic fracking fluid in my backyard. To have these chemicals and wells in a city park is unconscionable. The drilling companies and ODNR claim that frac drilling is 100 percent safe, but mounting scientific evidence indicates otherwise. What if an accident happens in our park? You would be forever haunted, if wells go in under your watch. What if there is an explosion or a release of radioactive or toxic fumes while our kids are playing baseball or swimming or attending day camp? What if our groundwater, which runs into Lake Erie – the source of our own drinking water – becomes contaminated and flammable like in Bainbridge and …