Bethlehem Council Says No to Seismic Testing on Village Property

Bethlehem Village Council voted unanimously Monday to request a natural gas company’s request to perform seismic testing on village property.

Following a recommendation from Village Solicitor T.C. McCarthy against allowing SWN Production Company LLC of Triadelphia to perform testing on village property sometime text year for $5 per acre, council unanimously approved a motion by 3rd Ward Councilman Charles “Chuck” Griffin to reject the offer, which would have paid the village just $425.

“It’s just not worth it,” McCarthy said, adding that after reviewing the offer he believed the testing would bring additional heavy truck traffic and equipment to village property. “There is nothing in here that is of benefit to us.”

During an October council meeting, an independent permit agent representing Kingfisher Exploration Services Inc. and Southwestern Energy spoke to council requesting permission to perform the seismic testing between March and October of next year. Seismic testing can help reveal what natural gas deposits might underlie a particular tract of land.

In other business, Mayor Tim Bishop said the village should be receiving bids from three companies offering automatic water meter reading technology. Representatives with National Road Utility Supply of Triadelphia gave a presentation about their technology during a November meeting. Bishop said he hopes to be able to present those bids at the next council meeting.

Also during the meeting, Benjamin Gilbert, a maintenance operator for the village, gave a presentation to council about how village crews will be able to monitor the location of water and sewer lines in the village more effectively with the integration of digital mapping using a new laptop computer that council approved several months ago.

Bishop also said he met with several Bethlehem Fire Department officials to show them two possible locations that the village submitted in a proposal to the fire department as possible locations to build a new fire station. He said the meeting went well and fire department officials said they would take the information they gained back to the department’s next meeting.

“It was a really nice meeting and we talked about some different options,” Bishop added.