SouthWestern Explains Plans For Laydown Yard in Bethlehem

Photo by Scott McCloskey Southwestern Energy Community Relations Manager Amy Dobkin illustrates how the company will be transforming the former Harley-Davidson building near the Village Plaza into general office space during Monday’s Bethlehem Village Council meeting.

Two Southwestern Energy officials explained plans for a water truck laydown area on several acres of private property located along East Bethlehem Boulevard during Bethlehem Village Council’s Monday night meeting.

Speaking on behalf of Southwestern Energy, Amy Dobkin, community relations manager and Marvin Pantojas, a support services supervisor, explained to Bethlehem Council members that Southwestern is already in a five-year lease agreement with the Dlesk family for “general office” space at the former Harley-Davidson building located just below Village Plaza on W.Va. 88.

She said Southwestern also has entered into a five-year lease agreement with the Dlesk family for a lay down yard to park trucks at the property across W.Va. 88. It also could be used as a water truck filling station in the future. The same area was last leased over a year ago by American Electric Power as a parking area for trucks. While some discussions ensued on the topic among Dobkin, Pantojas and several council members, Village Solicitor T.C. McCarthy advised , it was agreed that those discussions would continue at the next council meeting.

Dobkin said she and Pantojas came to the council meeting to ease concerns and answer questions.

Mayor Tim Bishop said currently council members are in a “learning phase” about Southwestern’s plans.

“They provided us with the maps and sketches for everything they want to do and we provided them with a list of questions we would like to have answered,” Bishop explained after the meeting. “I think the next step is they come back with those questions and we sit down and hash it out and see if it is the right fit for the village of Bethlehem. I think one of the things we want to stress is no chemicals, no actual drilling at the site, which they assured us that is not going to happen. … I mean there is not going to be any wells in the village of Bethlehem. We want to make sure we stress that … and if all things go well, I think it is a good fit for the village,” Bishop added.

First Ward Councilman Robert Henry Jr. expressed concerns that the trucks using the space would not be tracking dirt and other debris out onto the main roadways leading through the village. Dobkin assured him that should not be an issue.

The next regular Bethlehem Council meeting is scheduled for 8 p.m. Oct.1 at the Bethlehem Municipal Building.

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