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N. Braddock Residents Flood Council Meeting To Protest Golf Course Drilling

NORTH BRADDOCK (KDKA) – More than 100 people filled a small municipal building for the North Braddock council meeting Monday night.

North Braddock residents showed up to protest possible drilling at the nearby Grandview Golf Course.

Mayor Thomas Whyel says he's never seen so many people at the meeting.

The council voted to approve an ordinance that keeps the golf course listed as residential property. The mayor says it will restrict the ability to drill for oil and gas on the golf course.

"I'm totally impressed with the outpouring of support for this ordinance, it makes me feel good as a borough mayor to see our residents care that much about us, about their environment," said Mayor Whyel.

Supporters pushed for the ordinance after drilling for gas under the golf course became an option.

"We don't want it and just because we're not a rich and wealthy neighborhood, it's not fair, it's not right and if you want to frack by my house, then I'll leave today," said one woman at the meeting.

However, Grandview golf course owner Bob Beam says he has many supporters.

"I knock on doors and I explain to them what I'm doing and I would say 95 to 98 percent of the people I spoke to were in agreement," Beam said.

Beam's attorney, Joseph Morascyzk, says some of the people who live near the golf course have already signed commitments to drill.

If the drilling is approved, Beam says the golf course would remain open during the drilling, with most of the drilling being done in the winter months.

And North Braddock's mayor doesn't think this fight is over yet. "I don't believe it's totally done, just because of the impact and influence of the marcellus shale industry."


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