Niles agrees to Halcon pipeline

NILES – City Council voted unanimously during Wednesday’s regular meeting to allow a Houston-based driller to use a portion of city land for the installation of a pipeline.

Halcon Field Services was given access to about 60 feet of land near Salt Springs Road along the Niles Greenway Bike Path. It will stretch into Weathersfield Township, officials said.

Niles is one of several Trumbull County communities that was given a proposal by the driller for what is expected to be a 14-mile long pipeline stretching from Vienna to Lordstown.

Halcon will pay the city a total of $1,462 for use of the property, according to Mark Hess, the city’s engineering, grants and development coordinator.

“We actually added language to the proposal that says the property contained is a bike trail and it will always operate that way,” Hess said. “It will have no negative impact on the bike trail.”

Hess said the pipeline will run perpendicular to the bike trail, eventually lying underneath it before crossing into Weathersfield.

“I haven’t seen the whole pipeline and I don’t even think they know exactly how it is going to come together until they get all these properties (across the county),” Hess said. “But the addendum is pretty clear in that they have to treat the bike trail.”

Other communities considering the pipeline proposal include Brookfield and Girard. Halcon has permits or has drilled eight Utica Shale horizontal wells in Trumbull County and three others in Jackson Township, Mahoning County.

“I’m glad that the city could work with Halcon to get this pipeline put in,” Councilman Ed Stredney said after the 7-0 vote. “I feel like it’s a good thing.”

Stredney said council took special care to make sure the Niles Greenway Bike Path, which opened in October 2012, would not be interrupted or obstructed by pipeline.

“We spent a lot of time and a lot of money making (the bike trail) happen,” Stredney said. “I think it was over 10 years in the making to get that bike trail up and open. So, we wanted to protect it.”

According to the ordinance, the pipeline may transport “oil, condensate, gas, water or any other material or substance that can be transported through pipelines.”

With so many communities involved in discussions, it is unclear when the pipeline may be constructed.

However, if Halcon does not use the land in five years, ownership will revert back to the city of Niles.