Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Council begins developing regulations on 'fracking'

After its annual August recess, Athens City Council returned last night with a session in which 13 ordinances were adopted, many of which were motioned to bypass normal ordinance rules because of urgency.

The night began with Athens City Law Director Pat Lang’s voicing his — and many council members’ — concerns on the threat of “fracking” in Athens.

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is a controversial method of extracting natural gas and isn’t entirely regulated. The closest fracking has come to Athens is in Mineral, Ohio, where Oxford Mining has leased 157 acres from the Athens Fish and Game Club for $10 an acre, according to a previous Post article.

Lang proposed that the council search for options the city could take to begin regulating the mining before it hits Athens.

“(Everyone) should know that Council is steadfast in protecting our drinking water and environmental issues of the sort,” Lang said.

Lang also brought to Council’s attention a lawsuit against the city in which former law director Garry Hunter is representing a group that requested an injunction on construction of a facility along Graham Drive.

The county commissioners felt the group did not demonstrate sufficient need for the injunction, and Lang said he believes the court will still feel the need is insufficient.

Councilwoman Nancy Bain, 3rd Ward, introduced an ordinance to begin and quickly finish the renovations of the Carriage Hill Bridge because of its December deadline.

Mayor Paul Wiehl agreed with Bain’s move for a hasty renovation because of the bridge’s location in a flood zone.

“(The bridge) is in bad shape, but it is hard to find contractors who will take on the job,” Wiehl said.

Whatever is spent on Carriage Hill will be credited back to Council and serve as the minimum point for upcoming renovations on the Richland Bridge, Bain said.

Bain continued the evening by introducing an ordinance to borrow $500,000 from Hocking Valley Bank to begin the design process for renovations to the water treatment plant.

Councilwoman Sherry Coon, 2nd Ward, introduced an ordinance to apply for a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant totaling $180,000 for a new radio system for the fire department. Weihl said he thought it would be a smart move because the highway patrol and other agencies in Athens County have switched to this system.

“During fest season last year, communication became a problem due to the radios’ different frequencies and strengths,” Weihl said.

Council adopted the ordinance.

Other ordinances adopted during the meeting included Halloween parking bans, noise-ordinance refinement and trick-or-treating times as well as revisions of emergency-worker contracts.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH