Brookfield residents voice concerns over gas wells

BROOKFIELD — More than 25 residents, many from the Wyngate Manor Mobile Home Park, once again expressed their frustrations to township trustees over the noise and increased traffic to a nearby gas well.

Resident Gloria Douglas told trustees she has a recording of the noise she hears at 7 a.m. every day from the nearby drilling site off state Route 7.

Douglas, who has been at the mobile home park for 30 years, said the noise, mostly from trucks going to and from the site and equipment being used to prepare for drilling, starts early in the morning and wakes residents.

She said there are 242 homes in the development with only one way in and out near the site.

Trustee Dan Suttles said trustees have heard residents’ concerns and have taken letters from them that are being sent to state Reps. Sean O’Brien (D-Bazetta) and Glenn Holmes (D-McDonald) to see what can be done. Suttles said he also is concerned since the township fire department is located a half-mile south of the drilling location.

“We have heard your concerns.We feel bad for the residents in Wyngate,” he said.

Resident Pat Holbrook said there is a safety concern for anyone who lives near the injection well site.

“We need to stand up to this,” he said.

Highland Field Services has received permission from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to have two injection wells on the property, with applications filed for three additional wells.

Jane Spies of the Frackfree America National Coalition in Youngstown said there is concern about spills, increased truck traffic and potential for earthquakes.

“The wells need to be halted,” she said

In other business, trustees discussed the possibility of lower natural gas rates for residents with a gas aggregation program.

Trustee Chairman Ron Haun said two companies, Dominion Gas and Eastern Natural Gas, provide natural gas service to the township. He said only Dominion would be able to provide aggregation because it has a bigger customer base in the township.

Haun said an opt-out aggregation program would be placed on the ballot and need to be voted on by residents. With opt-out, residents are automatically enrolled but have the option to opt-out at no cost if they do not want to participate.

He said a price would be negotiated that would remain steady for 36 months.

In other business, trustees:

• Heard from a resident who saw people taking five-gallon containers of water they filled from spigots at the township cemetery. Haun said police will check on this and were also looking into a recent break-in of the Brookfield United Methodist Church where someone took cash and credit cards from the office;

• Are seeking drivers for the senior citizen van, which operates Monday, Thursday and Friday to transport local residents to appointments as far as Niles and Warren. Those interested can call 330-448-4500;

• Rehired Park Superintendent Tim Mulligan at $12 per hour;

• Approved purchase of turn-out gear at $1,500 from West Salem Volunteer Fire Department;

• Set a special meeting 7 p.m. Thursday to meet with the volunteer fire department on contract for the fire hall.