Findlay gives OK for drilling under Clinton Park

Findlay has given the OK for Range Resources to drill underneath Clinton Park in exchange for payment to the township.

The township supervisors voted unanimously Aug. 7 to lease the nonsurface rights below the park to Range Resources to drill into the Marcellus shale. 

“It’s not going to hurt us, and we are going to realize some financial gain,” Findlay Supervisor Ray Chappell said.

The actual drill site is at the Seibel Farm in Beaver County, where drilling is slated to begin in about one month. Range Resources will drill down 6,000 feet and then horizontally for another 11,000 feet to the 61-acre Clinton Park. Under the five-year lease, Findlay will receive a $3,000 bonus per acre that will be paid within 90 days. The lease also provides for 18 percent royalties after extraction begins.

“Range has no rights to anything above the surface, only below,” township solicitor Alan Shuckrow said.

He said the nonsurface rights span from the top of the tully formation — a sandstone formation directly above the Marcellus shale — to the center of the earth.

“If Range wants to drill above the tully, another lease will have to be negotiated for those nonsurface rights in particular,” Mr. Shuckrow said.

The township worked with Range Resources five years ago to negotiate a lease, but it was never approved. “The economy slowed down and the subject was put on the shelf,” said township manager Chris Caruso, who worked with Range Resources in 2012 to facilitate a lease.

“I think it is a great thing. I have no issues with it whatsoever,” township Supervisor Janet Craig said.

Also at the Aug. 7 meeting, supervisors honored Anthony Kriznik, a part-time employee in the parks and recreation department, for saving another township employee who was choking. Darlene Howell began to choke while driving with Mr. Kriznik, 19, as a passenger. She managed to safely pull her vehicle over, and Mr. Kriznik administered the Heimlich maneuver. Supervisors called his quick-thinking response an act of heroism.

Amy Philips-Haller, freelance writer;

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