Public hearing on Deer Lakes Park drilling scheduled
Allegheny County residents will have the opportunity to pose questions to county Executive Rich Fitzgerald about a proposal to drill for natural gas under Deer Lakes Park in West Deer and Frazer.
Fitzgerald will speak at a public meeting on Wednesday and then take questions from the audience, said county spokeswoman Amie Downs. Representatives for the driller, Range Resources, also will give a short presentation.
Residents can sign up at the meeting or on Fitzgerald's county website to speak at the event.
The website has links to the lease negotiated between the county, Range Resources and Huntley & Huntley.
The meeting will start at 7 p.m. in Deer Lakes High School, 163 E. Union Road, Cheswick. It is being held in the high school's auditorium, which can seat about 1,000 people, school officials said.
Under the lease, Allegheny County will receive an up-front payment of $4.7 million, a $3 million donation to a parks improvement fund and 18 percent royalties throughout the life of the wells, according to the lease. Fitzgerald said royalties could be worth $3 million a year for at least 20 years.
Range would drill under the park from well pads outside its boundaries.
County residents opposed to drilling under the park have voiced their concerns at county council meetings since August.
Council Vice President Nick Futules, chairman of the parks committee, said he will hold several meetings and public hearings on the proposal before council votes on the issue.
Aaron Aupperlee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7986 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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