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Jefferson Hills oil, gas drilling hearing set for May

| Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 2:11 a.m.

A proposed Jefferson Hills oil and gas drilling ordinance will get another airing.

Borough council voted on Monday to set a hearing for May 23 at 6 p.m. at the municipal center along Old Clairton Road.

The proposed ordinance is a work in progress while the state Supreme Court considers the commonwealth's oil and gas Act 13.

“The borough wants to be in a place to hit the ground running once the court decides on Act 13,” Jefferson Hills Solicitor William Shimko said.

The hearing cannot be held without clearances from Allegheny County and borough planners. The Jefferson Hills planning commission's next meeting is May 20.

The focus on a local ordinance was sharpened by plans EQT Corp. and two Texas firms have for seismic testing in a 68-square-mile area.

An uproar as EQT, Cougar Land Services and Geokinetics canvassed Jefferson Hills neighborhoods led to a halt of that activity until borough staffers allow it to resume.

Council took comments about the canvassing for an hour at its workshop last week, but no one signed up to speak at Monday's meeting.

Council authorized McLean Architects to advertise for bids for a public works complex estimated to cost $3.43 million to $3.75 million.

Council also approved:

• An application for a $250,000 county Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund grant for upsizing the Walton Road sewer.

• Participation in South Hills Area Council of Governments Community Development Block Grant Year 39 demolition, for up to three structures in the borough.

• Concurrence with SHACOG in pacts with Insight Pipe Contracting LP for multi-municipal sanitary sewer lining (the borough's share of the cost is $66,525.50) and for continued sanitary sewer point repair with Roto Rooter Services ($39,800).

• A second option year with Cargill Inc., beginning July 1, for purchasing rock salt.

Council also authorized engineering consultant Gateway to work on Peters Creek stream restoration and Beedle Park improvement plans.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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