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Plan To Drill On Golf Course Faces Much Opposition

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Grandview Golf Course in North Braddock lives up to its name -- providing golfers with a stunning vista of the steel valley.

A drop in players, however, has the owners searching for other sources of revenue.

"But they're going to drill? seriously?" asked James Cope of North Braddock.

If the Grandview owners have their way -- a drilling rig may someday sprout up on a fairway. Recently they've gone door-to-door on Weiler Street asking residents if they would considering signing over their gas and mineral rights.

James Cope told them no. Undermined and built on a slag heap -- he thinks the golf course isn't conducive to drilling.

"It's a disaster waiting to happen and I don't care how much they guarantee 100 percent, until something happens they can't make that guarantee and then it's too late," he said.

The flyers don't state a potential driller or when this might happen. But despite the answered questions, some like Darby Dorothy went ahead and signed a letter of intent.

"I'll take whatever I can get," she said. "They're going to pay me. I'm on a fixed income and it'll help out."

We called course owner Bob Beam, who declined speak with us and referred all questions to MPF management -- a gas and oil leasing firm -- in Bridgeville

But no one from MPF Management would return our phone calls, nor would they see us in their offices. The secretary told KDKA, simply they were not available.

And North Braddock Mayor Thomas Whyel says he hasn't had the courtesy of a phone call.

"Whoever's the representative from that facility, regardless of what stages their in, should have consulted this particular council first," he said.

The North Braddock Council is scheduled to vote on a new zoning ordinance next week -- but both the new and the old ordinances would prohibit drilling on the course and a variance would be unlikely -- which would be fine with Hannah Reiff who also turned the owners down.

"I don't think that the risk assessment of this type of drilling has been comprehensive enough to really be able to tell people this isn't going to affect you, your quality of life, your safety for you and your kids," she said.

And better still with golfers like Art Earl.

"We enjoy it," he said. "So I hope they don't close it."

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