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The plusses and minuses of RV homesteading in Ohio's oil patch
Oil and gas field workers flooding into eastern Ohio are looking at creative solutions for housing

Tim Rudell
Thousands of workers from drilling rigs like this one in Carroll County, construction crews, trucking companies and service providers need housing in the Utica shale play.
Courtesy of Tim Rudell
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In The Region:

Recreational vehicles with people living in them are showing up on vacant lots and in empty parking areas across eastern Ohio. Temporary workers in the Utica shale play are using them for short-term housing.

And, as WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports, that’s not necessarily a welcome sight for locals.

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The Village of Carrollton in the center of Carroll County has passed an ordinance restricting use of RVs as full-time residences.  Similar laws are under consideration in other communities in Ohio’s oil patch.  
There are a few places to sleep on the typical drill pad, but they're usually for workers who have to stay on site In Tuscarawas County, Uhrichsville Mayor Terry Culbertson says he and City Council are talking right now about RV homesteading. 

Not so simple
He says it is important to recognize that there’s not a lot available housing in the thinly populated areas where drilling is focused, Sometimes larger homes have rooms for rent, but there is not a lot of temporary housing in the area of Utica Shale playand to recognize, too, that local communities don’t want to discourage workers from coming in.

“We’re looking at all aspects of it. We don’t want to keep these people out of the area. We want their economy — buying gas and groceries and what have you. But we have to be concerned with health issues.”

Next up
Health and safety issues, especially regarding sewer and water services, are the common threads as towns and villages in the shale play try to deal with the proliferation of RV residences. 

Uhrichsville council is expected to take up the matter at it’s meeting Thursday. 

(Click image for larger view.)

Related WKSU Stories

Fracking may cut watershed costs for property owners
Thursday, May 30, 2013

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ohio tries to answer question of whether the drilling boom is going bust
Friday, May 17, 2013

Muskingum Watershed formalizes the rules for selling water for fracking
Friday, May 17, 2013

Ohio says shale drilling is starting to pay big returns
Thursday, May 16, 2013

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