Shale boom brings need for housing - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Shale boom brings need for housing

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COLUMBIANA COUNTY, Ohio - Northeast Ohio's shale boom is bringing an influx of workers from out of state.

And while the drilling jobs are temporary, the workers still need places to stay, some for a few months and others possibly longer.

Drill pads are becoming a common site across northeast Ohio as the oil and gas industry begins to tap the Marcellus and Utica shale.

The average drill pad can employ up to two dozen workers who put in long hours and need a place to rest their heads.

Columbiana County Commissioner Michael Halleck says in the Lisbon area alone the Days Inn has seen an increase in occupancy.

And two motels that had been struggling are also benefiting from the drillers. "We've been able actually to put all new everything in the rooms. And we've been able to pay the taxes now," said Kym Ladany, Frola Motel.

Halleck says he has heard of cases in other areas where local renter's leases are not being renewed by property owners looking for higher rents.

"I can tell you some of the prices people are getting for rental properties are pretty phenomenal," Halleck said.

In neighboring Carroll County the work load is even greater. In the center of Carrollton there's a steady stream of trucks and equipment.

More than half of the drilling permits issued in Ohio are in Carroll County and workers are looking for local housing.

Some of properties that were actually going off the tax base and going to be torn down are getting new life thanks in part to the oil and gas development; case in point, the 104 room Atwood Lake Lodge.

"They had made the announcement they were going to close the lodge and at some point tear the lodge down," said Jeffrey Ohler, Carroll County Comminssioner.

But instead, the county has taken over the lodge and it's being upgraded and managed by a hospitality firm.

For extended stays, drillers get a special rate. "This is going to be their home away from home so we try to give them some options try to make them get settled in," said Deborah Oberlin, Atwood Lake Resort.

After the wells will come pipelines and production and processing plants and the mayor of Carrollton says those workers will be around a lot longer.

"Some of them are not just renting, some of those people have moved into town and bought property. I've talked to several, they don't even know if they're going to want to leave when it's done," said Frank Leghart, Carrollton Mayor.

As the shale boom builds out, it holds the prospects for a boost in all types of housing.

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