Freeport Council says borough can’t force drilling company to pave road | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Freeport Council says borough can’t force drilling company to pave road

1718548_web1_web-freeportsign

Freeport Council members told a property owner last week it’s not in their purview to enforce a zoning board decision requiring a drilling company to pave a road.

Property owner Mike Graff brought council a complaint about dirt and dust created by vehicles using Mill Street to get to a well site. He said XTO Energy was supposed to pave the road, which has a surface of crushed aggregate.

XTO is an natural gas drilling company that is developing wells on the former Phoenix Golf Course.

“You guys need to get on XTO about paving that road,” Graff said.

Council President John Mazurowski said paving Mill Street to the well pad was part of a finding of fact issued last year by the Freeport Zoning Hearing Board regarding XTO’s operations and compliance with borough zoning regulations. He said the finding of fact called for the road to be paved upon completion of the well.

“XTO believes that they don’t have to do that,” Mazurowski said of the paving.

He said the company has worked with the borough’s public works department and has done some maintenance on the road as it was required to do, but not any paving.

Holly Hannold, a manager of public and government affairs for XTO, said the company put a dust suppressant on a private road off Mill Street last Thursday. The company plans to do restoration work on Mill Street, she said, likely next spring.

Graff asked the borough to send a letter to XTO telling it the paving work has to be done, but Councilman Sean McCalmont said he wouldn’t agree to do that because the ruling came from the zoning board, which he described as an independent, quasi-judicial body.

Mazurowski agreed, saying the ruling didn’t come from council.

Council members referred Graff to the zoning hearing board. Graff declined to comment further when reached by the Tribune-Review.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.