Fracking issue likely to appear on ballot

Fracking petitions

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A group looking to put a Community Bill of Rights on the November ballot on Monday delivered enough signatures to the Mahoning County Board of Elections to put the proposal to voters again.

Supporters say the proposal would ban hydraulic fracturing within the city limits of Youngstown for the oil and gas industry. But opponents worry language in the proposal is far-reaching and would prevent companies from manufacturing pipe and other equipment for the drilling industry.

Supporters of the amendment needed 1,562 signatures to put the issue on the ballot and turned in 2,450. The petitions still have to be certified by the Board of Elections.

The issue failed to garner enough votes in the May primary by 56 to 43 percent. Supporter Susie Beiersdorfer and others in favor of the measure said they are in for the long haul. The group vowed they will work to keep putting the issue to voters until it wins.

“We always ask when we get signatures on the petition, do you know about fracking? Have you heard about this petition? Do you know about local control?” said supporter Susie Beiersdorfer. “We found this time that there were many more people that knew about fracking and had heard about the petition.”

Supporters of the Community Bill of Rights are beginning an awareness campaign to inform voters about the dangers of fracking. A Town Hall meeting is scheduled Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, 1105 Elm St., Youngstown.

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