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Perryopolis residents urged to step up to plate on ballfields

| Friday, June 14, 2013, 12:31 a.m.

Perryopolis Borough Council and its residents slugged it out Wednesday over the scheduling of summer baseball and softball games and practices on the borough's fields.

After much debate, solicitor Deanna Fahringer of Davis & Davis law firm said the borough must allow all borough teams an equal opportunity to share the ballfields, even if a team has only one borough resident.

“The borough cannot deny any resident or child who wants to use the baseball fields the opportunity to do so,” Fahringer said.

More than 30 residents, whose children play in four baseball and softball leagues, attended the meeting to question council members about the need for a master schedule to allow all teams equal play time.

“Everybody is required to turn their baseball schedules in to the borough so we can develop a master schedule,” said Councilman Ron Lombard. “The borough only has four fields that it utilizes. It's not going to work if a league wants to use one field.”

Tracy Scott said she and borough residents must work together for their children's sake.

“Many friendships have been lost because parents have been arguing,” Scott said. “We need to set aside our differences for our children.”

Following the public comment period, a representative of W.D. Partners, developer for Speedway, said the 4,600-square-foot convenience store and service station will be built at the intersection of Route 51 and Quaker Church Road.

Construction is expected to begin in six to eight weeks and should be completed within 120 days. Speedway will feature a made-fresh sandwich area, six gas islands and two diesel islands.

In other business, Rod White of McDonald Land Services told council and residents that seismic testing is expected to begin in the borough within 30 days.

White said the seismic testing, which forces sound waves into the ground, will identify pockets of gas that could be used for hydraulic fracturing or fracking when chemical-laden water is pumped into the ground during the drilling process to release natural gas.

He explained that the fracking will be limited to properties where gas companies already have secured leases from property owners.

White said the seismic testing will not cause damage to nearby homes, water supplies, sewer systems or underground swimming pools. Residents will be notified before seismic testing occurs.

Cindy Ekas is a freelance writer.

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