Monday – June 6: Wellsville's Village Council's Property Committee held a meeting Monday evening at Village Hall. Present at the meeting was Committee Chairwoman Sue Haugh and Committee Members Rosie Goss & Randy Allmon. Also attending was Councilman John McMahon and Village Administrator Jim Saracco.
The first part of the meeting was devoted to a sales pitch by Leasing Manager Les Dundics of Everflow Eastern, Inc. Everflow Eastern is located in Canfield and they are a broker for land owners with drilling companies such as Chesapeake. Dundics advised that Wellsville is right in the heart of the richest Utica shale region and that have drillers very much interested . Fees for Everflow Eastern is 10% of the amount of the land lease negotiated with the drilling company with no claims on whatever royalties are agreed upon between the land owner and the driller.
Currently Village officials are investigating their best options for possible drilling on the old City dump and old reservoir properties. Nothing inside the Village limits, the Springhill Cemetery or Hammonds Park is being offered for consideration. Another broker outfit that is being considered is called ALOV or the Association of Landowners of the Ohio Valley. They are a nonprofit organization of local landowners that have joined together to educate and protect the landowners oil & gas rights. ALOV has members in Columbiana, Carroll, Jefferson, Mahoning, Stark, Tuscarawas and Harrison Counties. It was decided to get more information on ALOV before proposing anything for Council's consideraton. Chairwoman Haugh said she wants what is best for the Village.
Also proposed at last night's meeting was to have Council consider selling some of the vacant property they currently own. Haugh noted that two different parties have expressed interest on a Village owned piece of land along Main St. She proposed that Council vote to get it appraised and put it up for bids. Noting that there are a half dozen or more parcels of land that the Village owns and have no plans for, Haugh suggested Council consider putting them up for sale too. It would eliminate the expense of maintaining or paying taxes on them.
While on the subject of maintaining properties Haugh gave a reminder that a lot of time was spent on revising and preparing ordinances that require landowners to keep their properties free of overgrown weeds and grass. They will be enforced. She recommended the Village Administration be given a list of any unkempt properties to follow up on and refer to Magistrate Court if necessary. Saracco noted he presently has six properties he has been working on to get the owners to clean up.
Haugh also noted that in two years as Chairwoman of the Property Committee she received more complaints this year than ever on the condition of Springhill Cemetery. On behalf of Council, Haugh offered an apology for the lack of equipment, man power and funds that resulted in the condition of Springhill doing the Memorial Day holiday. Saracco noted that this year was the first time in eight years that he wasn't authorized to hire two part time employees in May to help maintain the cemetery grounds.
Before closing the meeting Haugh issued a reminder that anybody that plans to open any type of business within the Village must first have their plans approved by the Zoning Commission. That includes non-profit organizations too. Contact Zoning Administrator Rick Williams for additional information.