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Fracking to fight urban blight
Leasing public land for gas and oil drilling is controversial, but the city of Youngstown may be going foward with a plan to do just that

Tim Rudell
Square in downtown Youngstown seen from the south
Courtesy of T. Rudell
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Youngstown made national news when it pushed back against urban blight by tearing down abandoned buildings and paring down the size of the city.  It may make headlines again by leasing city land for fracking and using the proceeds to pay for more demolition.    WKSU’s Tim Rudell Reports

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Youngstown City Council decides this week if the Mayor can negotiate gas and oil leases for city property.  First Ward council member Annie Gillam says money from the leases would augment State and Federal funds for blight removal.  “We’re working with about two million dollars right now…which will take down about three to four hundred houses.  But it’s not enough:  we have at least a thousand that we could take down right away.”

Gillam says the city has four thousand acres of land and is looking at leasing a tenth of that; which would raise two-to-three million dollars. “People are getting around $5-thousand an acre; but it could be more.  I understand some Utica shale deposits are getting close to eight thousand.”

Public comment during the first two readings of the measure that would authorize lease negotiations was dominated by fracking opponents, but Gillam and others on city council say the measure is likely to pass

Related WKSU Stories

To keep the drilling boom from going bust, go midstream
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sherrod Brown says Recovery Act is working in Ohio
Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A business EXPO that may help avoid the bust
Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Youngstown gets nation's first manufacturing institute
Thursday, August 16, 2012

Listener Comments:

Fracking has been around for decades, and has - not - created more blight. Earthquakes, polluted land, water, and air will also be around for decades, with or without fracking.
"Gillam and others on city council say the measure is likely to pass" - good -

Posted by: greens gone on November 4, 2012 12:11PM
Money to fight blight despite the fact that fracking will create MORE blight? Bright choice.Enjoy your money,your earthquakes,your polluted land,water,and air.Enjoy.

Posted by: Matt (Youngstwon) on October 27, 2012 6:10AM
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