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Brunswick: Council passes fracking ordinance, business objects

12:00 PM, Mar 1, 2013   |    comments
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BRUNSWICK -- Brunswick City Council has passed a measure against hydraulic fracturing drilling -- commonly known as fracking -- 6-1 that a local company says could have job-killing consequences.

PETCO, a growing subsidiary of Philpott Rubber, distributes a chemical used by natural gas drillers to clean and lubricate wells.

"Our customers could see this as an attack on them," said Russ Schabel PETCO V.P.

The company claims Brunswick's passage of the measure will send a bad message to its clients. The measure basically is symbolic, as there are no natural gas wells in Brunswick and none are expected.

But the resolution expresses the city's anger that the state, and not local authorities, have the power over wells and drilling rights and expresses concern about fracking's possible environmental and health dangers.

Philpott is considering expanding its division that handles the chemical. It could mean 15 or 20 new jobs.

Company CEO/President Michael Baach has said, "If this happens, what we're going to do we won't do here."

Schabel said, " If people don't feel wanted, they are going to go somewhere else...The phone hasn't stopped ringing (from other cities) saying why don't you come here? Why don't you come here?"

Councilwoman Patricia Hanek sponsored the measure.

"The city was saying it objects to Ohio taking away our home rule over what goes on in the city," she said.

Councilman Brian Ousley voted yes.

"We're looking at now and in the future so it doesn't happen here. We don't want it here," he added

Both council members say the hope Philpott stays in Brunswick and expands.

Ousley said, " We were threatened. We were put on the spot as city leaders because we wanted to stand up for our residents."

Channel 3 found residents supporting both viewpoints.

Britney Potapsky said, " Taking away jobs in Brunswick , that's not going to be good for the community."

Angel Sullivan said ," The city , the state and the country are hurting for jobs."

But Stacey Collie said," I'm pretty doggone green....It's more important to take into consideration what the whole city thinks. One business is one business."

Philpott is a 125-year-old company with Cleveland roots. It's been in Brunswick since 1990.

It was named Medina County's Corporate Citizen of the Year.

Schabel said no definite decision has been made on the company's future or expansion. He said that would evolve perhaps over the next six months once customers' reaction is clearer.

WKYC-TV

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