Silver Lake -- Council members decided on Monday night that they are not in favor of allowing a Ravenna firm to drill for natural gas on village property.
David Beck of Beck Energy approached village officials in December 2016 with a proposal to drill a well on a nearly 30-acre parcel south of Village Hall that is owned by the village. Following the drilling itself, fracking would have occurred to extract the natural gas from the well, according to Beck.
On Monday night, Mayor Bernie Hovey told Council members that Beck had recently contacted him to find out whether village officials wanted to move forward or not. Council conducted a straw poll and all six members who were present said they were against pursuing the drilling project. No one on Council gave a reason for being against the plan. Council member Christopher Scott (District A) was absent.
Beck previously told Council he was willing to pay the village a $15,000 royalty prior to drilling. If the well had been successful, Beck said he had hoped it would generate $2,000 to $3,000 per month for the village. An allotment of free natural gas for use by Village Hall was also being offered by Beck.
Twelve of the 13 residents who addressed Council on Feb. 21 said they were opposed to the proposal. Residents raised concerns about water safety and felt that the potential revenue was not worth the possible health and environmental risks.