New Castle News

Closer Look

November 6, 2012

Westminster makes no decision on shale leasing

NEW CASTLE — A Westminster College board of trustees meeting Saturday yielded no decision on the leasing of college land for shale drilling.

Mark Meighen, Westminster’s senior director of marketing and communications, said Monday the college has no timetable for deciding on the matter.

The college has 340 acres that could garner as much as $1 million up front for leases, in addition to royalty payments.

Information about the prospect was discussed at a public meeting at the college last month, when Kenneth Romig, the college’s vice president for finance and management services, laid out the pros and cons to be considered. He said any drilling sites most likely would be off campus.

Meighan would not divulge Monday which drilling company has approached the college about leasing, nor would he discuss details.

“We’re not sharing any information about who’s talking to the college,” he said.

He said the subject came up at Saturday’s fall trustees meeting, but nothing was decided. Board members were to have met in closed session to discuss the option.

Board member Thomas S. Mansell said the matter was not discussed among the board — which has 40 trustees — but that it was taken up by certain members of the property committee who are continuing to study the matter.

He deferred further comment to Meighan.

Clarence Harms, director of the Westminster College field station, an outdoor laboratory for biological and environmental sciences, had urged caution in the decision at the public meeting last month.

He said Monday he received Meighan’s similar statement about the delay of any leasing decision.

“We need to be very cautious about the decisions we’re going to make, that down the road will affect us 50 or 100 years from now.”

While Harms said he would not want to see a drilling rig on the 55 acres occupied by the college field station, the field station building and his home are heated by natural gas, and he understands the economic side.

“What we need to do is make sure we have proper state and federal legislation that will protect the owners of property if things should go wrong,” he said. “We need to push Harrisburg and work to make sure we have proper regulations for the fracking process.”

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Closer Look
  • Local pastor helping fire victims

    A local pastor is opening up donation avenues to help two families who lost their homes to fire this week.

    April 18, 2014

  • First Energy to replace transmission line

    FirstEnergy Corp. has plans to rebuild a power transmission line between the West Pittsburg plant and a Mahoningtown substation.

    April 18, 2014

  • school.jpg Union to return assistant principal post

    The Union Area School District will have a new administrator when the 2014-15 school year starts. The board voted 8-0 Wednesday night to hire an assistant principal. Debra Allebach was absent.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Calen.tiff Callen gets state honors

    Robert Callen has been selected to receive a state award for his contribution to local government in Pennsylvania. Callen, 58, executive director of the Lawrence County Regional Council of Governments, received the Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bobosky.jpg Gas holdouts unconvinced of safety

    When Suzanne Matteo and her husband, Martin, bought their house on four acres in Pulaski Township they had a plan. They would grow a huge vegetable garden, raise lots of flowers and a few chickens and enjoy the fresh air and quiet.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Miller.jpg Wilmington superintendent discusses common core

    The Wilmington district has no reason to fear new Pennsylvania Core standards, superintendent Dr. Michelle Miller said. She talked about the standards to approximately two dozen residents at the school board’s monthly pre-meeting Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shreck.tiff Schreck reappointed Shenango superintendent

    Dr. Michael Schreck has been reappointed as Shenango’s superintendent for a five-year term. The school board approved his reappointment by an 8-0 vote Monday. Nicholas Manolis was absent.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • vote.jpg Congressional candidate disqualified

    Commonwealth Court has removed a Democratic candidate for the 3rd Congressional District seat from the May 20 primary ballot. Judge Bernard L. McGinley has invalidated the nomination petitions of Mel A. Marin of Sharon.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Up through the ground comes education cash

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Shenango passes tax abatement

    Shenango Township supervisors unanimously approved a tax abatement for Blackwatch Properties LLC when they met Thursday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read
Continuous Super Bowl Coverage