New Castle News

May 3, 2014

Neshannock sets hearing for Hilcorp well

Nancy Lowry
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Neshannock Township will realize no financial benefit if a well pad site on King’s Chapel Road is approved.

At their meeting this week, the township supervisors announced a conditional use hearing for Hilcorp Energy for a well pad and five well bores.

The public hearing will begin at 6 p.m. May 19 at the township building.

Township secretary/treasurer Leslie Bucci, questioned by a Neshannock resident, explained the municipality will not benefit because it does not own the property. It is part of Millennium Park and owned by the Lawrence County Economic Development Corp.

The property owner will be leasing the land to the drillers.

“The township will only benefit if property is sold,” she said. “Generally these companies lease property for 10 to 20 years.”

She added the proposed site is in a tax-free zone, so no taxes are being paid on the property.

Bucci also explained that changes in the township’s zoning ordinance included gas industry wells and drilling operations as allowable through conditional use in specified areas.

She noted specific conditions must be met before approval is granted and the supervisors, who have the final say, may impose more conditions to protect residential landowners.

“We can’t deny (this use) just because people don’t like it. But we can see that they are meeting all conditions and that residents are protected.”

David Antognoli of Fairhill Drive questioned the supervisors about flooding problems he is experiencing.

Solicitor Lou Perotta said the township will help, but cannot be held responsible if anything it does affects the man-made pond on the property. He agreed to meet with Antognoli’s attorney to seek a solution.

The supervisors also:

•Approved land development plans in anticipation of issuing building permits for Preston Chevrolet, to be located at Wilmington and Mitchell roads, and Velocity Magnetics, located at RIDC Park. Preston plans to locate a car dealership on 6.4 acres, and construct a 20,690-square-foot facility. Velocity plans to expand its existing facility.

•Approved an agreement with Delta Development Group to provide oil and gas planning consultation for the township.

•Contracted with CCI Wireless to spray to kill poison ivy around guiderails and lift stations. The cost is $1,810 to spray guide rails and $135 per lift station.

•Approved a contract with Keystone Guiderails of Punxsutawney for $7,485 — the lowest of three bids — to repair deteriorated guiderails on Shenango Road.

•Approved a subdivision for James and Mary Graziani to sell one lot on Chapin Road.

•Approved a consulting agreement for Hess Ice Rink.