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Niles may revise drilling ordinance

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NILES, Ohio -  City leaders are having second thoughts about a recently passed ordinance which attempts to ban oil and gas drilling within city limits.

The "community bill of rights" ordinance, which was passed as an emergency measure last month. was characterized as a preventative measure by Mayor Ralph Infante. "Our biggest concern was we didn't want to see a well drilled in residential areas" said Mayor Infante.

The problem with the Niles ordinance is that it also bans doing commerce with the oil and gas industry.  A spokesman for Energy In Depth said that sends the wrong message to an industry that's worth multi-millions of dollars.

"What it does is it essentially bans any company who wants to do business with the oil and gas industry" said Shawn Bennett of Energy In Depth.

That's not what the city intended because it is in the business of selling water.

"We have sold water to the Lordstown well and we're probably selling it to the Hartville well through Trumbull county and through Lordstown" Infante said.

Councilman State Papalas says the city embraces the oil and gas industry and the business it brings.

"Two or three years ago we went on record stating we want that commerce in means jobs" Papalas said.

Papalas says he expects corrective new action by council.

"At the next council meeting we'll bring an ordinance in to rescind that "bill of rights" ordinance" said Papalas.

At the same time, the city will send a resolution to local state lawmakers and the Governor stating that they do not want drilling in Niles residential areas.

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