Silver Lake -- Village Council on Feb. 21 is expected to discuss proposals pertaining to both drilling a natural gas well and controlling the deer population in the village.
Mayor Bernie Hovey told the Falls News-Press on Feb. 16 that residents will be able to share their thoughts on these issues with Village Council on Feb. 21 from 6 to 6:45 p.m. in Village Hall, 2961 Kent Road. Council's regular meeting will follow at 7.
Council will begin its session early "because we expect several people" to attend to discuss the drilling and/or deer issues, said Hovey.
David Beck, Vice President of Beck Energy Corporation, spoke to Village Council on Dec. 19 about drilling a vertical natural gas well on a nearly 30-acre parcel south of Village Hall in an area where village officials keep equipment. Following the drilling itself, fracking would occur to extract the natural gas from the well, according to Beck.
Beck is proposing to drill on land that the village purchased from Dr. John W. Van Sise in 1964, according to Mayor Bernie Hovey, who noted the family retains some property that is adjacent to what was purchased.
Beck told Council in December he would drill less than 4,000 feet below the surface. If the drilling is successful, Beck said he would offer an "allotment" of free natural gas that can be used by Village Hall. Beck noted he would be willing to pay the village a $15,000 royalty prior to drilling the well. If the well fails to generate natural gas, the village would still have $15,000. If the well is successful, Beck said he hopes it would generate $2,000 to $3,000 per month for the village.
Beck explained there are 52 different requirements he must meet to acquire a permit to drill a well and added a "good share" of those deal with the casing and the surface of the well. The Cuyahoga Falls water table is about 120 feet deep, while the natural gas is believed to be about 4,000 feet below the surface, said Beck.
"From the beginning of that drilling process, we'll spend close to $100,000 just to get through that water field just to protect it," said Beck, who noted the state has requirements for drilling and state officials will monitor the drilling process. The city of Cuyahoga Falls would also be kept in the loop. "Part of that process is we run an 11-inch casing through the water table, cement around it, run another casing 400 feet deep and cement around that. Before we even drill, before we even get close to the oil and gas, we have two strings of pipe surrounded by two cement casings."
Council President Jerry Jones (At Large) said there is currently no legislation before Council on this matter, but he also said on Feb. 6 that Council would discuss the issue on Feb. 21.
Deer control program also slated for discussion
Jones also said Council on Feb. 21 will also discuss the possibility of implementing a deer population control program. Hovey recently gave Council draft legislation on the deer issue and asked them to decide if they want to move forward with the plan. Under the draft ordinance, residents would apply for a permit to allow hunting to occur on their property and must use bow and arrow hunters that are approved by the mayor.