Shale boom drilling begins in Columbiana County - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Shale boom drilling begins in Columbiana County

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COLUMBIANA COUNTY, Ohio - Parts of the Mahoning Valley are already experiencing the benefits of the shale boom.

Columbiana County Commissioner Mike Halleck tells 21 News that about 35 or 36 drilling permits have already been issued in the county, meaning that the shale boom has progressed from just securing land leases to the next phase.

We found drilling sites being prepared in Elkton on Y-Camp Road, Darner Road and Cream Ridge Roads, as well as another site in Salem on State Route 45.

Hallek says, "There's considerable drilling going on as we speak."

The Days Inn in Lisbon has experienced a major increase in business due to the shale industry, and owner Michal Naffah, who built the Shale Tavern to accommodate workers from the industry, believes this is just the beginning of something positive for the Valley.

"We've seen a dramatic increase in the hotel business, the occupancy. A lot of it is still from the land people coming in, the leasing people and now the drilling and water haulers also," Naffah says.

The Valley businessman says the shale boom has even increased business at the Hampton Inn and Suites he owns in Canfield, and if this boost to business continues, Naffah says he'll definitely consider expanding and adding more rooms at his Lisbon hotel.

"I would think after we get into next year there's a good possibility of an expansion on the hotel too. Because there's been a demand, and we want to be ready for it," Naffah said.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol Post in Lisbon says the number of trucks traveling through Columbiana County in the last 18 months has also increased tremendously due to the shale industry.

Sergeant Ron Cox says, "We have the drilling trucks, plus we have the water trucks coming in and out and we also have the commercial vehicles bringing parts of the pad and the drilling project in and out of the county."

Commissioner Halleck says he has information that there is an additional 1,000 trucks traveling through Columbiana County every day.

Now options are being considered to update Route 30 to accommodate an industry that's likely here for the long haul Halleck says. "We're looking at a lot of options including putting in a toll road because we're well aware that the infrastructure in Ohio just doesn't warrant Columbiana County. There isn't enough money to fix everything that needs to be fixed right now."

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