Keep Drilling Out Of New Martinsville

Editor, News-Register:

While hunting and traveling on local ridge roads in Wetzel County in the 1980s, I would see large panel-like trucks laying an electric line along the road side, for a mile or two, then they would stop, start their generator, start the machines inside the truck which would make graphs and charts explaining what minerals, elements, oil, etc., that lay beneath. This was done by some government agency, as I recall.

Our City Council at that time saw fit to enact an ordinance against drilling and its associated activity within our city limits of New Martinsville. City Council saw our county records room in the Wetzel County Courthouse go from one or two persons researching, to a full room of strangers looking over our deed books, seeking land rights and other information regarding the land within Wetzel County. Our Council at that time saw fit to enact an ordinance to save our city from the unsightliness of drilling and its affiliated business activities.

Most residents that I have talked to want our town to prosper from the drilling, but do not want the unsightliness of derricks, tanks, towers, heavy equipment, etc., within our city limits. Residents want and deserve a more beautiful town.

Mostly all citizens want to see our town, landowners and all involved prosper from these drillings, but the drilling and its associated activity and material should not be used or stored within our city limits. There is a lot of room for this activity outside of our city.

Citizens have spent much hard-earned money on new homes, land lots and businesses, and have paid high taxes and utility bills in New Martinsville to see it all fall in value due to the unsightliness of drilling. Let us make and keep our town appealing to all whom we hope will come here and visit here. No Drilling within New Martinsville city limits!

Visitors could be those who come to see our future heritage port and amphitheatre and newly paved streets and sidewalks, as well as refurbished homes and businesses, new and old. These things could and should happen in New Martinsville, “our friendly city.”

We hope everyone can prosper from the drilling business, but we should all know by now that the drilling companies are here for one reason only, that is to make as much money as they can, paying out as little as possible, with little regard to local landowners’ wishes to take care of the lands they are invading. They will wind up taking billions out of the land while paying out little to our landowners.

Council should have a sense of responsibility to all our city residents, including residents who have nothing to gain from the drilling activity, but everything to lose. Council’s responsibility is not to the drilling companies.

Keep the 1986 ordinance of “no drilling within city limits” and enforce it. The drilling companies knew that the 1986 ordinance was in effect when they came to town, so stick with it for your lifelong residents, and the well-being of New Martinsville and its future.

Other matters to consider associated with this is that of our air pollution, water pollution, drilling dust, gas leaks, chemical vapors, engine exhaust, possible explosions, noise and bright lights, etc. Keep those activities in the country.

Robert Hoffman

Lifelong resident

New Martinsville