Council approves publishing drilling ordinance amendment

Mayor Sally Geyer informed members of council on Monday evening that she believed the city should move forward and publish their draft of the zoning ordinance amendment pertaining to oil and gas development. "I believe that we have a solicitor and I believe that we hashed it out back and forth enough. I think we should move forward with what we have and we can always change, amend or whatever at another time," Geyer said. Councilman Dick Dornisch agreed with Geyer's proposal and made a motion to that effect. That motion was seconded by Councilman Bob Roberts and approved by all of council. "Encroachments are coming closer. They're into state parks and college campuses and they're certainly close within this area. There are numerous newspaper articles every week. I believe that we at least need something on the books where we could possibly slow things down with an injunction or something. If we don't have anything in writing, we're not going to be able to do anything," Dornisch said. City Manager Dave Greene indicated that a copy of the revised ordinance is currently in the hands of consultant Lester Greevy of Williamsport, who plans to review it in the near future. "He told me he would get on it right away and get back to us," Greene said. Greene remarked that council could move forward with advertising their current draft and then see what Greevy has to say when he gets back to them. Councilman Rick Gabler asked for further clarification about what repercussions, if any, publishing the ordinance now would have if council chose to amend it further later. "Let's say we do this tonight, get the ball in motion and publish it in its current state, and he gets back to us Thursday or Friday and says, 'hey, here's a couple of things.' Does it put us back much?" Gabler questioned. Council members responded that the ordinance can still be amended after it is published.