UPDATE: Marietta Drilling Deal Discussed

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UPDATE 10/31/2014 3:30 PM

Opening up Marietta city property to fracking.

Thursday was the last chance for people to tell council what they think.

The city has two properties totaling 38 acres it wants to lease and a bidder is ready to sign a five year contract.

In previous meetings, a big public concern was polluting groundwater.

Council members say experts from Marietta College looked into it.

They report drilling at 5,000 feet below ground will not affect the water supply.

A handful of people spoke up about this issue.

It will take five out of seven council member votes to make or break the deal.

The voting will take place November 6th.

UPDATE 3/4/2014 5:25 PM

Fracking has the oil industry booming here at home but the other thing booming are the voices of people against it.

We've told you about a group pressuring Athens city leaders to keep it out of the city limits there.

Now the same fight is happening in Marietta.

Those fighting the fracking battle in Athens are urging city council members in Marietta to say no to leasing city property to an oil and gas company who wants around 100 acres on the east side of town.

The Bill of Rights Committee says the city needs to consider everyone living here.

They need to make sure the whole community knows what is going on and how this can affect them.

City council members and the mayor say they have had many public meetings discussing the issue, and the pros out weigh the cons.

"$4,750 per acre, plus 17.5 percent royalties over the length of the contracts," says Marietta Mayor Joe Matthews. "We will have to put this out for bid like we do any other city property or anything we sell."

"The council is working in the best interest of the city, not all citizens are going to agree with what's going on," says Council President Josh Schlicher.

Kroger Wetlands, behind Buckeye Park and the city garage are among the areas the company would lease.

Mayor Matthews says there would be no drilling on this land and the lines would be 7,500 feet below ground.

Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 the lands, parks and buildings committee met to decide if legislation for the oil and gas should be put together for Thursday's council meeting.

If they decided yes, then on Thursday's city council meeting they will be voting on the legislation for bid.

Citizens of Marietta had their chance Tuesday night to voice their opinions and ask questions about a proposal to lease city land for gas and oil drilling.

Marietta City Council held the meeting to discuss the proposal from a company wanting to lease city land for hydraulic fracturing and since it's something that had not been discussed by council members yet, they wanted to give the public a chance to voice their opinions and concerns and to ask questions.

42 people showed up and council member Roger Kalter says he was very pleased with the number of questions and the input that was shared.

And before the council makes any final decisions they want to have all the answers to those questions.

"Tonight was not the beginning or the end it was of an extended process to get the best information we can so that city council can make intelligent decisions on whether we should or should not lease city land for oil and gas drilling," says Kalter.

Kalter urges any residents with questions or concerns over the possible leasing for oil and gas drilling to contact their councilman.

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